Preventing Corrosion in Metal Water Storage Tanks

Water tanks are a valuable asset, indispensable for residential and commercial use. But, as with any other metal object in contact with water, they can corrode over time. Take note that a corroded water system can result in poor water quality, bad water taste, and health problems. And if not given enough attention, corrosion can eventually lead to complete water tank failure. 

But on the bright side, corrosion in metal water storage tanks is something that can be avoided or at least mitigated to ensure that your water storage tank keeps working as it should. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure, so it’s best always to be on the safe side and ready for anything, knowing that corrosion can be avoided with the right measures.

In this article, we’ll go over how to prevent corrosion in a metal water storage tank, so be sure to take notes on how to keep your structures from corroding.

What is Tank Corrosion?

Tank corrosion occurs when a metal surface breaks down due to electrochemical reactions between the metal and the surrounding soil or groundwater. In simpler terms, the tank material becomes dissolved in the water inside the tank and causes damage to the tank itself.

According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately half of all underground storage tanks corrode to some degree by the time they reach 15 years of age. 

What  Causes Corrosion in Water Tanks?

When you try to recall your chemistry class, metals or steels have chemical reactions when exposed to water and oxygen, and when it happens, chemical change will happen.

So here are some of the top reasons why corrosion in water storage tanks with metal cage occurs:

1. Oxidation

Oxidation of metals is one of the most common causes of corrosion in water tanks. It occurs when the oxygen in the water reacts with the metal and causes it to break down. In general, there are two types of oxidation: galvanic corrosion and battery acid corrosion.

Galvanic corrosion is caused by direct contact between dissimilar metals or battery acid. The second one, chemical oxidation, is caused by the interaction of metal ions with oxygen in the air. 

2. Rust Formation 

Rust is the build-up of ions on the surface of a metal object. Upon exposure to air or water, iron undergoes a chemical change and turns into a metallic powder known as rust. Over time, this powder builds up on the surface of the metal and creates holes that can lead to leaks and structural damage.

3. Carbonation 

Corrosion can be caused by the presence of carbon dioxide in the water. Concrete’s natural alkalinity is decreased through carbonation, a process in which carbon dioxide and hydrated cement paste interact in pore water.

When carbon dioxide from the atmosphere enters the concrete, it creates weak carbonic acids in the concrete’s pore solution.

How To Prevent Corrosion in Water Tanks? 

Even though there is a big chance that the tank will corrode and cause significant damage, there is always a way of preventing it from happening. You heard it right! Don’t panic, and follow these tips. 

  • Make sure that tank is installed correctly. 

Ensure your tank’s cap is correctly sealed so that groundwater cannot leak into the tank. Also, check the seams of the tank to ensure there is no leakage.

  • Always have it inspected right away. 

Whenever equipment or parts are not functioning, make it a habit of letting the professionals check it. 

  • Keep Your Tank well-maintained

When performing routine maintenance on your tank, make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly and do not overfill the tank.

  • Make sure that all safety valves are installed and working accurately.

The valves will prevent water from overflowing from the tank in the event of a malfunction or emergency.

  • Look for bulging or leaking joints.

Look for any stains around your tanks or any bulging or leaking joints. Always note this because this indicates a clear sign of corrosion. You should always regularly inspect your tanks.

To prevent any further damage from occurring and make sure that you can keep your tank in tip-top shape, always be vigilant and responsible!

Storage Tank Preservation? We got you Covered!

Protecting your tank from any damage is such a huge responsibility. There is a lot to consider, and there is a lot to adhere to. If you think tank inspection and maintenance is too daunting of a task for you to tackle on your own, worry not though because there’s always a professional water tank service company that can efficiently do the job for you.

Here at AM tanks, we make sure to prioritize our client’s satisfaction. We have provided quality service over two decades regarding industrialized and commercial tanks and tank liners. As licensed providers, we can guarantee that we meet the requirements of the international standard for protection and safety. 
We are always keeping up with innovations! Call us today and let us know how we can assist you!

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