PVC Tank Liners as Effective Alternative Secondary Containment

Are you trying to determine the most effective and cost efficient method to configure a new or used above ground liquid storage tank? This article explains why in most situations the answer is using a PVC tank liner. Using a tank liner is an effective method for secondary containment and less expensive than standard containment options.

Tank liner systems use an internal flexible membrane made from radio frequency sealed virgin polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material. This membrane creates a barrier between the liquid being stored and the tank floor and wall.

tankEffective Secondary Containment

As seen in the picture, a PVC liner sits inside the steel storage tank to provide primary containment of the stored liquid. This internal protection system is effective containment because the steel tank serves as the secondary containment without taking up additional land. Also, the liquid is completely contained within the liner, preventing the steel of the tank from being corroded internally by the liquid stored. Thus, a PVC tank liner also extends the life of the above ground storage tank beyond providing effective containment.

A potential drawback of using a PVC liner is the need for caution when walking on or cleaning the liner. Clearly PVC is a penetrable material, so care is required to not accidentally introduce sharp objects to the liner via filling from a barge or on an employee’s shoe. However, if a puncture is made in the liner, it is easier to fix than a hole in a steel tank.

 The PVC liner is compatible in storing a variety of liquids, including most fertilizers, water, molasses, catsup, various oils (cotton seed, linseed, mineral, olive, palm, peanut, etc.), ethyl and propyl alcohol, beer, wine, rum, and many more. The main limitations in being able to use a tank liner are the compatibility of the liquid product being stored, storage of liquids at high temperature (sustained temperature of 120 degrees and higher), and whether the state permits PVC liners as secondary containment.

Tank Liners are Cost Effective

PVC tank liners are a cost effective alternative to other containment methods because liners require less land and cost 20-30% less. Double wall tanks are the most pure method of containment but are also the most expensive option, using essentially two full steel tanks. Placing tanks in a lined dike is the second most expensive option considering just the building of the tank and dike, but it also requires a much larger footprint of land. With needing only one tank and requiring minimal land, PVC tank liners are the most cost effective secondary containment method available for above ground liquid storage tanks.

Learn More

To find out if your state permits tank liners for secondary containment and to learn more about how a tank liner system works, please contact us at (800) 774-3230 or click here to request a free consultation.

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