American Society of Civil Engineers

Economical Control of Discharges from Petroleum Tank Farms

by Dominick Reale, P.E., (Environ. Engrg. Tech. Specialist, Washington State Department of Ecology, Toxics Cleanup Program, Southwest Regional Office, P.O. Box 47775, Olympia, WA 98504-7775)

Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management, Vol. 1, No. 4, October 1997, pp. 156-157, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This article provides a state regulator’s view of petroleum tank farm environmental management options. Experience is shared regarding recently constructed systems for storm-water collection, storage and treatment, spill containment, and ground-water remediation. The use of out-of-service tanks for storm-water equalization is stressed. This information is timely because oil companies are now required to treat collected storm water and process water to achieve very low effluent contaminant levels. They are often required to also install low permeability liners in their tank farm containment areas. Thus a far greater volume of storm water is collected and it must be treated to a far greater degree than in the past. By using existing, out-of-service tanks for storm-water equalization all storm water receives treatment, because the added retention capacity eliminates overflow or bypass during storm events. Much smaller and cheaper treatment systems may be used as retention tank contents are discharged gradually. Tips are given regarding design of effective storm-water, process-water, and ground-water treatment systems.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Environmental issues
State government
Stormwater management
Water treatment