The Light Green Machine Institute

28 Oct 15: Applications 24: Holes in the ground

Viewing tankage as swimming pools

A couple of years ago, I suggested a cheap way to build tanks, perhaps, would be to build them in the ground, much like one would build a swimming pool.
At last week's Light Green Machine Institute Conference, one of the suppliers present told me they sell an anaerobic water treatment system that is built this way.  The vessels are all concrete and rebar-lined holes in the ground.
The last time I brought up the subject of building tanks this way I was shouted down as being impractical.  Apparently not--it has been done.  I have asked this supplier to present their system at next year's conference.
In the meantime, I got to thinking: if we designed this correctly and the mill was built in a location where soil and bedrock conditions allowed, such tankage placed under the machine basement could serve not only as the properly designed containment vessels for various process streams, but also as a foundation element in lieu of piles.  What a savings!
We will be exploring this further. 
We would like to hear from you. Please send an email to 
with "LGMI Frontiers" in the subject line. 
 Response to last week's column on ladder diagrams:

Good morning Jim.

The last time I used a ladder diagram was 10 years ago when programming a PLC for machine control.  Long story but the machine supplier went belly up half way into the project so, no machine control system.  We had to buy it and program it.  The ladder was on screen and was an integral part of the input.  If you changed configuration or values in the ladder, the program changed.  There was no intermediate step between thinking and programming.  You built the logic on screen.
This was a picky piece of programming because we also had two CC rolls to deal with and zero programming for them.  Being able to do "on screen" trials to tune the CC rolls was a real time saver.
Best regards,

Brian Creagan
Montreal, PQ, Canada
As always, your comments will be appreciated.
Think light!


Brian Brogdon, Ph.D.
Executive Director




Jim Thompson

Send us your comments by emailing Brian Brogdon
or Jim Thompson!