Why you should never carry out industrial tank cleaning yourself

by | May 9, 2019 | Commercial cleaning service

male protective suit worker into manhole fuel stainless tank chemical protective area confined space dangerous (1)

Have you ever been tempted to try to carry out industrial tank cleaning yourself?

We understand that you need to prepare them for inspection and clean up any contamination, but the process can be complex and there can be many health and safety and environmental rules to consider along the way. The last thing you want to do is put yourself or your staff at risk.

That’s why it’s so important that industrial tank cleaning is carried out by qualified, experienced professionals such as Inspire Waste Management.

How do we start?

Tanks are safely drained of their contents before we begin the clean.

They can contain anything from water and foodstuffs to chemicals and slurry, so we adhere rigorously to the environmental regulations for each substance.

We may transfer the contents of a static tank to our tanker for removal to an appropriate waste facility. If the waste is hazardous, it will need to be correctly classified and we will need a detailed transfer note to ensure we comply with the hazardous waste regulations.

There are two basic methods of industrial cleaning services for tanks, using high-pressure water cleaning or cleaning using solvents.

Water cleaning

How water cleaning is used will depend on the type of tank to be cleaned, what it has contained, and whether it is accessible to jetting robots which can deliver high pressure cleaning.

It’s generally preferable to use robots and clean tanks remotely. That way, staff don’t come into contact with anything hazardous.

The high pressure water removes blockages and residue internally and externally, so that you will be able to see any potential problems such as the development of rusk in metal tanks.

Sometimes, tanks aren’t accessible to robots so high pressure lances need to be used and workers have to go into the tanks.

These workers are highly trained and have specialist equipment such as harnesses. Using a powerful lance is not something which should be attempted without this training and the right protective clothing.

Underground tanks may require the use of breathing apparatus, pumps, and gas detection monitors

Solvent and degreaser cleaning

A biodegradable solvent or degreaser can be used in some circumstances, such as when tanks contain hardened greases, crude oils, and tars. This can be sprayed on the surface and interior of tanks.

This is rinsed off using hot water.

Although using high pressure water cleaning can be seen as more environmentally friendly, the cleaning solvents used today can be water rinseable, many aren’t classified as skin irritants or a highly flammable, and they are made using non-toxic chemicals.

How to choose the right company for your industrial tank cleaning

Ensure the company has relevant ISO accreditations, as Inspire Waste Management does, and ask them how they would meet the environmental and health and safety regulations.

Ask for testimonials from clients for whom they have cleaned tanks and ensure you’ll have a full audit trail for any waste items you have removed. Make sure your company knows the location of licensed waste facilities.

Need advice on industrial tank cleaning for your business? Call our friendly Inspire Waste team on 0800 002 9282.




Inspire Waste Management offers waste services anywhere in the UK

Our experienced, expert staff will help you navigate the complex rules for dealing with hazardous waste, electronic and electrical waste, and confidential waste.

We’ll help you get the best price for bulk recycling, and get the right skips, tankers, compactors, or balers for your business.

We’ll also help you make the most of your budget with our waste consultancy and project planning and transparent, flat rate quotes.

So, when it comes to your waste, it pays to get Inspire-d!

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