Hazmat – Intimidating At Best

Tucson Hazmat Case Study No. 1

Intimidating at best
Clean the interior floors and walls of a 10,000,000 million gallon tank in preparation for demolition and salvageThe tank formerly held fuel oil and although emptied in 1986 still had residuals of this thick, viscous oil on the floors and walls. Looking inside this tank from the manholes was like looking at the night sky; vast, infinite, with no perspective. The perspective we did have was this, a diameter of 192 feet and side walls of 48 feet high. The area to be cleaned was 58,284 square feet. The floor alone was 29,544 square feet, enough to fit 17 average sized homes. The total volume could fit 589 swimming pools.
SHC needed better access to get personnel and equipment inside the tank than the two, 24 inch manholes could provide. To accomplish this, an 8X8 foot doorway was cut through the 1 3/8″ thick steel sidewalls. This opening allowed us to drive a man lift into the tank so personnel could power wash the 48 foot walls.
The extreme temperatures of August in Tucson quickly shifted the operation to a night schedule. It was so dark in the tank we taped glow sticks on the guys’ hard hats so we could see them in the tank. Conventional lighting was no help.This physically demanding, confined space operation took SHC 19 working days to complete to the satisfaction of a very grateful customer.