Material Processing Tank Cleaning

Cleaning Out Tar-like Sludge from Material Processing Tank Saves Client from Crisis

Client: Regional Construction Products Supplier
Issue: Solidified Material in Process Tank
Solution: Emergency Water Blasting Execution

An Illinois based supplier of concrete and asphalt maintenance products had a serious problem. Due to a formulation mistake, one of its main material processing tanks had solidified and was out of service. This was a huge problem. As an Essential Business, the company had important orders to fill and no way to fill them. The client tried heating the tank and that didn’t work. They were out of ideas and needed the tank back in production to make sure it could supply its customers. They called ERC Midwest.

“Can you help us?” was the question. “Of course,” was our answer.

Having experienced and solved these kinds of complex problems many times, our Project Manager knew that performing this tank cleaning would be a big challenge. The above ground tank had few access points. It was also equipped with a mixer and a series of heating coils, accessories that always make an already tough problem that much tougher.

ERC Midwest team mobilized to the client’s site with the tools necessary to get the job done. These included a 15k PSI Water Blasting unit, a vacuum truck and confined space entry equipment. The initial progress was slow and physically demanding, as the crew worked to remove material around a manway to facilitate the confined space entry needed to complete the job. Once that was completed, the heating coils became the crew’s next nemesis as the solidified material was like tar, a solid that also sticks to anything it touches.

Despite the challenge, and the less than ideal working conditions, the ERC crew kept at it, rotating the water blasting crew regularly to keep everyone safe and rested. The team knew how important getting this tank back into service was for the client. After three 12+ hour shifts, the tank was cleaned, brand new looking, and ready for the client to resume their critical and essential work. ERC Midwest also managed the disposal of the solids and wastewater generated during the cleaning process.

We were proud to be the guide that helped this client achieve its goals.

Another complex waste problem solved. Happy Client!

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