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Optical Vs. Ultrasonic Leak Detection for Polyethylene Chemical Storage Tanks

A leak in a polyethylene chemical storage tank can lead to catastrophic results, damaging surrounding property, requiring significant environmental cleanup expense, or causing harm to the public or employees.Since a small leak in a polyethylene chemical storage tank can lead to a big expense, a leak detection system is vital. A common question we encounter is “ Exactly how do you detect leaks in poly chemical storage tanks?” Let’s examine the two leak detection options: optical and ultrasonic.

Optical Leak Detection

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In Poly Processing’s polyethylene SAFE-Tank®, a “tank-within-a-tank” containment system, either an optical or ultrasonic leak detector can be used to detect leaks in the secondary containment tank. Both leak detection methods are equally effective.

With the optical leak detector, an infrared beam is calibrated to pinpoint the bottom surface of the secondary containment tank. If chemicals have leaked into the secondary containment an alarm is triggered.

Ultrasonic Leak Detection

Ultrasonic Leak DetectionWith the ultrasonic leak detection option, a sound beam is shot to the base of the secondary polyethylene containment tank. If the calibration distance is different, it indicates a potential leak, and an alarm is sent to the tank system’s computer.

With all things considered, both ultrasonic and optical leak detection are effective ways to detect leaks in polyethylene tanks. Some consider the optical as less problematic, but the difference is negligible. 

Poly Processing supplies both optical and ultrasonic leak detection devices. For more information, please see the storage tank fittings and accessories options.

To determine which leak detection option is best for your polyethylene chemical storage tank system please contact a Poly Processing tank specialist.

Talk to a chemical storage tank expert

Topics: Fittings and Accessories