Risk-Based Design of Inspection Programs for Detecting Leaky Underground Storage Tanks

by Mitchell J. Small, Carnegie-Mellon Univ, Pittsburgh, PA, USA,
Nancy L. Cichowicz, Carnegie-Mellon Univ, Pittsburgh, PA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


A mathematical framework is developed for estimating the effectiveness of large-scale inspection programs for leaky underground storage tanks. The framework incorporates the leak likelihood probability of tanks in a region (e. g. , a state or county) given their distribution of tank type, age, and surrounding soil conditions. Inspection programs are characterized by the type of precision testing used and the minimum age of required inspection. The costs and effectiveness of the program are computed, including the estimated fraction of the leaky tanks properly identified, and the number of tight tanks improperly identified as leaky. The model is demonstrated using a set of more than 11,000 unprotected steel tanks registered in Florida.

Subject Headings: Storage tanks | Underground storage | Inspection | Mathematics | Mathematical models | Steel | Soil properties | Florida | United States

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