Case Study: Lining a Potable Water Storage Tank

Potable Water Tank

South Essex College had problems with a leaky GRP (fibreglass) water tank located above a stairwell at its Basildon campus. After a series of challenges including restricted access, the Sui Generis team was able to repair the tank with a GRP lining within a week, causing minimal disruption.

Unknown leaks

The large GRP potable water tank was located in a hard-to-reach loft space above a stairwell. It was leaking from the joints, but it was impossible to determine exactly where. The body of the tank appeared in good order.

The tank repair presented a series of challenges. For example, although the tank was drained, some water remained. In addition, the restricted space meant that grit blasting was out of the question because it was impossible to get the equipment in.

Hand preparation

First the team dried out the tank by pumping out the remaining water and using two extractor fans to remove all the moisture. They then abraded the surface using hand held grinders, before applying primer. This was followed by the GRP lamination, a resin coat and finally a top coat.

The team then filled and sealed a series of baffles with foam, eliminating any potential weak points.

Multiple challenges

The team was able to repair the tank with the GRP lining within a week and with only minimal disruption, despite the challenges posed by poor access, baffles, bolts and infill panels. The college was delighted with the lining service, which ensured its tank will be serviceable for many years to come.

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The completed potable water storage tank with GRP lining.

1. The completed potable water storage tank with GRP lining.

The sectional water tank prior to lining.

2. The sectional water tank prior to lining.

A series of hollow baffles were filled and sealed with GRP to eliminate possible weak points.

3. A series of hollow baffles were filled and sealed with GRP to eliminate possible weak points.

A final coat was added to ensure a complete seal. After our quality inspection the tank was returned to service, safe against future corrosion and leakage.

4. A final coat was added to ensure a complete seal. After our quality inspection the tank was returned to service, safe against future corrosion and leakage.

Specialists in water tank repair, storage tank refurbishment, potable water tank linings, with GRP fibreglass

Braithwaite tank repair with fibreglass liningSurface prepared for lining

Grit blasting was not suitable due to the small enclosed space, it was simply not possible to get blast equipment in. Our specialist linings team completed the preparation by hand, abrading with hand held grinders.

Braithwaite tank repair with fibreglass liningJoints filled and sealed with GRP

Along the base of the tank are a series of baffles, these were hollow and had to be filled and sealed. The panels were filled with foam, when set, completely encapsulated to eliminate any possible weak points.

Braithwaite tank repair with fibreglass liningWater sprinkler tank repair with fibreglass liningFibreglass lining to walls & floor

Two layers of GRP fibreglass matting impregnated with resin and allow to cure. Followed by a resin coat and allowed to cure.

Braithwaite tank repair with fibreglass liningCompleted GRP tank lining

During the final stage of the tank lining application, we applied a resin coat. All surfaces were then sanded and a final top coat added to ensure a complete seal. With a further quality inspection the tank were returned to normal service.

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