Emergency Leak Response and Repair for Storage Tanks

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Above-Ground storage tanks (ASTs) are widely used across various industries for storing essential materials such as water, fuel, and chemicals. While these tanks are designed and built for durability, leaks may occur due to corrosion, material degradation, or structural damage, posing considerable safety, environmental, and financial concerns. To promptly address and mitigate these risks, it is crucial for businesses to have an effective emergency response and repair plan in place.

In this educational and informative blog, we will explore the essential aspects of emergency leak response and repair procedures for Above-Ground storage tanks. We will discuss the importance of leak detection methods and the advantages of incorporating advanced monitoring technologies to swiftly identify any leakage or potential vulnerabilities. Additionally, we will outline the necessary steps to develop an emergency response plan, ensuring your business is prepared to act quickly and decisively in the face of a leak incident.

Temporary and permanent repair solutions play a vital role in addressing and resolving leaks in ASTs. We will examine the various repair options available, along with valuable insights on selecting the most appropriate solution for your specific circumstances and needs. Lastly, we will delve into the benefits of partnering with a trusted tank maintenance provider like ATM Tanks, whose expertise in tank design, installation, repairs, and maintenance can provide vital support throughout the emergency response and repair process.

With a comprehensive understanding of emergency leak response and repair procedures, your business can confidently manage the risks associated with Above-Ground storage tanks, safeguarding your assets, the environment, and ultimately, your bottom line.

Leak Detection Methods for Above-Ground Storage Tanks

Effective leak detection is the first line of defence in managing risks associated with Above-Ground storage tanks. Employing suitable monitoring technologies can enable early identification of leaks or vulnerabilities, enabling businesses to take prompt action. Some popular leak detection methods include:

1. Visual inspections: Regularly examining the tank’s exterior for signs of corrosion, discolouration, or moisture can help identify potential issues before they escalate into more severe problems.

2. Acoustic emission testing: This non-destructive testing method involves analysing the noise generated by a tank under stress and can identify potential structural weaknesses or leaks.

3. Ultrasonic thickness testing: Utilising ultrasonic waves to measure the thickness of the tank wall, this method can help identify areas with reduced integrity due to corrosion or damage.

4. Remote monitoring systems: Advanced monitoring technologies, such as sensors and telemetry, can provide real-time data on tank conditions, enabling swift identification of leaks or other anomalies.

Developing an Emergency Response Plan

Implementing an effective emergency response plan is essential in managing Above-Ground storage tank leaks and associated risks. Consider the following steps when developing your plan:

1. Hazard assessment: Identify potential leak causes, such as corrosion, equipment failure, or natural disasters, and evaluate their likelihood and potential impact.

2. Emergency response procedures: Outline the steps to be followed in the event of a leak, including immediate containment measures, notification of relevant stakeholders, and implementation of temporary and permanent repair solutions.

3. Stakeholder communication: Ensure all employees and relevant authorities are aware of the emergency response plan and know their respective roles in executing the procedures.

4. Regular review and update: Conduct periodic reviews of the plan, incorporating any changes in industry regulations, on-site conditions, or business operations.

5. Training and drills: Regular training and drills for employees can ensure they are well-prepared to respond to a leak incident efficiently and safely.

Temporary and Permanent Repair Solutions

In the event of a tank leak, devising suitable repair solutions is crucial in mitigating potential damages and associated costs. Consider the following repair options:

1. Leak sealing products: Leak sealing products, such as putties, tapes, or patches, can provide a temporary remedy for minor leaks and prevent further damage while a more permanent solution is arranged.

2. Tank clamps: For larger leaks or more severe damage, tank clamps can serve as a temporary repair option by sealing the leak and providing structural support to the damaged area.

3. Cold welding or epoxy injection: Cold welding or epoxy injection can serve as permanent repair solutions for smaller leaks, effectively bonding and sealing the damaged area without the need for hot works.

4. Tank lining or repair panels: In cases where the damaged area is extensive, installing a new tank lining or repair panel may be the most appropriate solution, restoring the tank’s integrity and preventing future leaks.

5. Tank replacement: In severe cases where the AST is severely compromised and beyond repair, tank replacement may be necessary to ensure safety and compliance with industry regulations.

Partnering with ATM Tanks for Emergency Leak Response and Repair

Working alongside a trusted tank maintenance provider like ATM Tanks can provide invaluable support throughout the emergency leak response and repair process:

1. Expert advice: ATM Tanks professionals possess the expertise to recommend the most suitable repair solutions based on the nature and severity of the leak.

2. Rapid response: As a dedicated tank maintenance provider, ATM Tanks can offer prompt response and swift service, minimising downtime and further damage to your ASTs.

3. Compliance assurance: ATM Tanks work in alignment with industry regulations and guidelines to ensure that all repairs and maintenance are carried out to the highest standards, safeguarding your business from potential compliance issues.

4. Ongoing support: By partnering with ATM Tanks for regular maintenance and inspections, businesses can proactively address potential vulnerabilities in their ASTs and mitigate the risks associated with leaks.


Developing a comprehensive understanding of emergency leak response and repair procedures is crucial for businesses employing Above-Ground storage tanks. With suitable leak detection methods, a well-defined emergency response plan, and an array of temporary and permanent repair solutions, businesses can confidently manage AST leak risks and minimise potential safety, environmental, and financial impacts. 

Partnering with a professional tank repairs provider like ATM Tanks can offer essential expertise and support in addressing leaks and maintaining the optimal functionality and service life of your Above-Ground storage tanks. Contact us for more information!

Aaron James
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About The Author

Aaron James
Aaron has been working at ATM Tanks for the past 5 years. He has completed a wide range of projects across Australia including new tank builds, cleaning and servicing existing tanks and countless tank inspections. However he has excelled recently at project management for ATM Tanks.

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