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Preparing Aboveground Storage Tanks for Winter

With winter around the corner, now is the time to prepare your aboveground tank systems for winter. Special care should be taken around this time of year to conduct required monthly visual maintenance inspections and remove any water or debris in contact with tank components before it freezes. Here are a few steps that can be taken to save you time and possible expense over the winter:

  1. Be sure to remove all accumulated water from secondary containment areas before it freezes. Ice can damage system components, reduce containment area volume, and could result in you being cited for containment violations.

  2. Make sure your sump pump is not set to run automatically with a float; this could result in a spill being pumped out of the containment area onto the ground. Someone should always be present to control the pumping of water out of a containment area.

  3. Water freezing in the bottom of aboveground storage tanks has been known to split the seams on the tanks. Remove accumulated water from tanks before it freezes.

  4. Mark out with flags or stakes system components that may be covered with snow to ensure they are not damaged by snow removal equipment, taking care not to puncture containment liners with said flags/stakes.

  5. Ensure that you have sand available to provide foot traction for bulk drivers and other staff that work around the tanks or transfer areas.

  6. Make sure that spill response materials area readily accessible and are not buried by piled or drifted snow.

  7. Thoroughly remove snow from transfer areas to ensure it does not build up and reduce the ability of the transfer area to contain a spill.

Winter can be a tough season, but with a little planning and preparedness, your aboveground tank systems can make it through unscathed.

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