CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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Feature 42 MAY 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM I BY JACK INNIS PHOTOS COURTESY POLY SEAL Wastewater Tank Project No Small Potatoes I daho farmers produce approximately 13 billion pounds (5.9 billion kg) of potatoes per year. e industry provides more than 30,000 jobs and annually contrib- utes about $4 billion to the state's economy, according to the Idaho Potato Commission. But one major Idaho processing plant had a problem. Failing coatings on a wastewater tank threatened to keep millions of pounds of delicious tubers from ever reaching the marketplace. Hey! e average American eats more than 110 pounds (49.9 kg) of potatoes each year, mostly in the form of French fries and chips. Imagine pulling up to a drive-in window at a major fast food chain, only to find out they're out of French fries! ere'd be riots in the streets! Oh, the humanity! Potato Bathwater Wastewater treatment is an important process at J. R. Simplot Co.'s potato production facility in Caldwell, Idaho. It takes roughly 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water to process 1 pound (0.45 kg) of potatoes. So when you're processing approximately 2 to 3 million pounds (907,184‒1,360,777 kg) of potatoes per day, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 330 days per year, it's neither cost effective nor environmentally responsible to flush that much water down the drain. at's where Simplot's 39,000-gallon (147,631.1 L) clarifier wastewater tank comes in. e 84-foot-diameter by 10-foot-high (25.6 m x 3.0 m) steel-walled clarifier removes solids and sends about 1 million gallons (3,785,411.8 L) through a reverse osmosis filter for reuse at the plant. e remaining 1.5 to 2 million gallons (5,678,117.7‒7,570,823.6 L) are pumped to regional farms for irrigation. e clarifier — the plant's only — normally handles such chores with ease. But the clari- fier's interior epoxy coating system was rapidly failing. Potato bathwater had breached the coatings in numerous areas and was attacking the tank wall. Lava-like bubbles of rust, flaking coatings, and pits threatened the tank 's integrity. Simplot needed a fix — and fast! An Idaho facility needed to recoat a wastewater clarifier. Although they drained, dried, and cleaned the tank, it still took four crew members from Poly Seal and plenty of persistence to get the job done. POLYUREA WASTEWATER STEEL TANK

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