HQ Address: 2440 West Majestic Park Way, Tucson, AZ 85705


Wastewater tank replacement is an extremely expensive process given tear down, new tank replacement, and lost production costs. According to an article in the Whittier Daily News, Ridgeline Energy Services in Santa Fe Springs, CA is beginning the demolition of the first few out of 19 total tanks at their wastewater treatment plant. The plant is operated on the site of the former Powerline Oil Co. refinery and has experienced several odor violations from the wastewater mixing with the leftover Powerline sludge. As the tanks were filled with wastewater, leaks in several of the tanks permitted the mixing of substances and consequent production of hydrogen sulfide gas. The gas, when released into the air through holes in the tank roofs, is non-toxic but can significantly reduce air quality. The 28-ton tanks have enough space to hold 16,800 gallons of wastewater. The metal from the demolition will eventually be taken away and recycled. Instead of repair, odor issues are being resolved by destruction and removal of the 19 wastewater tanks.
Santa Fe Springs Demo
Demolition of a leaking wastewater tank.
Photo Credit: Whittier Daily News


This is just one example of many plants worldwide experiencing similar problems. Steel tanks can become corroded over time, and leaks may develop. Steel welded plates are one way to stop leaks, albeit temporarily, as the plates will also corrode over time. A cost-effective and sustainable alternative to replacement many are turning to are Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) solutions, such as HJ3’s CarbonSeal reinforcement systems. Complete replacement of a wastewater tank costs millions of dollars in material and downtime costs. And there is a toll on the environment. For instance, it takes 60,000 gallons of water to produce one ton of steel. That means it would take an estimated 32 million gallons of water if Ridgeline was looking to replace its 19 tanks.
steel tank repair
NRG Energy’s 2M gallon tank pre-repairs.


One example of how HJ3’s CarbonSeal system saved one power plant millions of dollars and significant environmental costs was working with NRG Energy. NRG is one of the country’s largest power generation and retail electricity businesses in the country. A 2 million gallon wastewater tank at one of NRG’s subsidiaries was leaking. Previous repairs were attempted using steel plates to patch the holes. There was no welding or epoxy to seal the plates but a fiberglass coating was installed over the entire floor and wall surface. After this repair, thousands of through holes developed in the walls and floor, leading to additional repairs.
carbon fiber steel tank repair
Installation of HJ3’s CarbonSeal reinforcement system.


Originally the design scope included repair of the tank walls, floor, and roof support columns. While the surfaces were being prepared and hydroblasted, an additional 4,300 though holes were revealed that needed additional reinforcement. Steel plates were used to cover the holes and welded to the surface to prevent further leakage. Then HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system was applied to the tank’s walls, floor, and support beams. Extensive corrosion within the tank required special preparation. All the surfaces were sandblasted, cleaned, inspected for holes, tested, and primed to prevent flash rusting. Once this was complete, the surfaces were primed with HJ3’s primer and high modulus paste was applied to the reinforcement area. Finally, HJ3’s CarbonSeal carbon fiber reinforcement system was applied to the walls, floor, and support columns and protected with a chemical-resistant topcoat.
steel tank repair
Installation of HJ3’s CarbonSeal reinforcement system. 


By repairing not replacing NRG’s wastewater tank, HJ3’s CarbonSeal reinforcement system is designed to extend the tank’s life another 30 years.  Replacement would have been very costly to the plant, as well as the environment. By using HJ3’s CarbonSeal repair system, 90{f00316eaeff19fc4d3daa6454136ee4db9a0ad1868aa2a79e58a2db09827821d} was saved in kWh consumption, 96{f00316eaeff19fc4d3daa6454136ee4db9a0ad1868aa2a79e58a2db09827821d} in CO2 emissions, and 60M gallons in water consumption. The cost of the replacement saved NRG over $3M or 75{f00316eaeff19fc4d3daa6454136ee4db9a0ad1868aa2a79e58a2db09827821d} compared to replacement. If you have a wastewater tank or want to be more sustainable in your repairs and would like to learn more about HJ3’s carbon fiber reinforcement systems, contact our project managers today at hj3pm@hj3.com.