PART F - HAZARDS
There are many hazards involved in tank cleaning, and personnel must understand the hazards before the
Tetraethyl lead. A tank that has been used to store leaded gasoline is a hazard throughout the cleaning
process. Even though the tank has been vapor freed, respiratory equipment and protective clothing
must be worn at all times. Lead affects the central nervous system and can cause permanent brain
damage or even death. In order for a tank to be declared lead free, it must be sandblasted to clean
bright metal, and certified by a safety engineer.
Hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is rarely found in finished products but may be found in tanks that
have held crude products, Navy special fuel oil (NSFO), and heating oils of high sulfur content. Its
combustible range is between 4.3 and 46 percent by volume. The toxic limit is 20 parts per million. This
is far below that of petroleum vapors. The presence of hydrogen sulfide can be detected as a rotten egg
Fuel vapors. Fuel vapors are narcotic; inhaling these vapors can slow the nervous system to the point
that breathing stops. In addition, inhaling even small amounts of these vapors can irritate the lungs and
Lack of oxygen. Normal air contains 21 percent oxygen. A concentration of less than 7 percent is
dangerous. Fuel vapors, in addition to being narcotic, displace oxygen in a tank.
Regardless of the type of safety equipment you use, it must be approved by the Bureau of Mine Safety.
The kit consists of: respirator (fresh air mask), rubber boots with steel toes, white coveralls, lifeline and
harness, air hose, hard hat, and rubber gloves. The safety set should be inspected and cleaned before
and after each use.
PART G - GENERAL TANK CLEANING PROCEDURES
Prepare a waterproof sump beneath the tank cleanout door to receive the flow of sludge water. There are a
number of commercial cleaners used to clean the inside of the tank. These cleaners emulsify the sludge and film
on the floor and sidewalls of the tank. The solution is allowed to remain on the floor and walls for a
recommended period of time. Then the walls and floor of the tank are hosed down with high-pressure water and
the emulsion is flushed out the door to the sump. The common method used to finish the cleanup is to sweep
and squeegee the sludge out of the door.
PART H - DISPOSAL OF SLUDGE
Strict state and federal environmental programs make it imperative that all personnel be aware of the pertinent
laws before any disposal action is taken. Leaded sludge is disposed of by high intensity heat. Unleaded sludge
may be disposed of by aeration, landfill sites, and burning (high intensity heat). However, any method used must
be approved by EPA. All trucks used to transport sludge must be approved by state and federal agencies and a
certificate issued for each vehicle. The disposal sites must also by approved by EPA. As with any operation
involving POL storage and distribution, it is extremely important that all personnel are familiar with the
procedures, guidelines, and methodologies outlined in FM 20-400 (Military Environmental Protection), TC 20-401
(Soldier and the Environment), and all other publications related to environmental protection.