Piping-System Leak Detection and Monitoring for the CPI
By W. M. (Bill) Huitt W.M. Huitt Co. |
Leaks in a chemical process industries (CPI) facility can run the gamut from creating a costly waste to prefacing a catastrophic failure.. They can be an annoyance, by creating pools of liquid on concrete that can become a possible slipping hazard and housekeeping problem, or a leak that can emit toxic vapors, causing various degrees of harm to personnel. In some cases a leak may be a simple housekeeping issue that goes into the books as a footnote indicating that a repair should be made when resources are available. In other cases it can become a violation of regulatory compliance with statutory consequences, not to mention a risk to personnel safety and the possible loss of capital assets.
Understanding the mechanisms by which leaks can occur and prioritizing piping systems to be checked at specific intervals based on a few simple factors is not only a pragmatic approach to the preventive maintenance of piping systems, but is part of a CPI’s regulatory compliance. This includes compliance under both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air Act (CAA; 40CFR Parts 50 to 52) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA; 40CFR Parts 260 to 299). We will get into more detail with these regulations, as well…