Last Modified: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 2:02 PM
For the second time in three months, Phillips 66 will conduct a hydro test on one of its storage tanks this morning to see if any leaks are detected.
Carol Collins, director of public relations for Phillips 66, said the tank that will be tested contains naptha, a flammable liquid commonly used as a feedstock in the production of high-octane gasoline. She added that hydro tests are done routinely at the refinery and that the tank being tested today is different from the one tested in November, which contained crude oil.
“We have a number of tanks on site and it is routine that we test them just to make sure that they are operating properly,” Collins said. “There is nothing unusual about it.”
Collins added that the tests are scheduled over a multiple-year program, which results in many tanks being tested in a single year.
The test uses a non-hazardous, biodegradable dye that may be visible in the ditches along Old Spanish Trail in Westlake. Collins said the dye is non-hazardous and does not pose a threat to the community or the environment.
Refinery officials will begin draining all of the naptha from the tank around 10 a.m. The fluid will then be stored on site. Once the tank is emptied, it is filled with water after which the dye is added. The water is then discharged from the tank into the Faubacher Ditch. If the tank has a leak, the green dye will seep out and refinery officials will know where repairs need to be made.
Collins said the test will take several days to complete. During that time, she added, the dye will begin to fade.
“As the dye is exposed to the sunlight, it dissipates and the water returns to its clear color,” she added. “There’s nothing for residents to worry about or concerned about because (the dye) is not harmful in any way. The way in which this tank is going to be drained, they may not see it at all.”
The state’s Department of Environmental Quality approves and permits hydro tests. All stakeholders and all appropriate agencies have been notified of today’s test, Collins said.