Above ground storage tanks (AST) often do not get the recognition they deserve. Without ASTs, many industries would have a difficult (if not impossible) time storing the materials they need to make their products. From oil and petroleum to water and industrial chemicals, ASTs provide stable and efficient storage for manufacturers, refineries, and other businesses across the country (and, of course, the world).
Because ASTs are so important to industry, and because they sometimes store hazardous chemicals, the steel storage tanks are tightly regulated by both the government and industry agencies. The American Petroleum Institute (API), for example, is responsible for laying out guidelines for the construction, maintenance, and inspection of AST units. Every inch of AST units are regulated and scrutinized in order to guarantee performance as well as safety.
API 650, for example, sets minimum requirements for a AST unit’s materials, design, fabrication, erection, and testing. Among other stipulations, API 650 mandates that the welding of the tanks must follow the guidelines set out by the Weld Procedure Specifications (WPS) and the Procedure Qualification Record (PQR), two prominent manufacturers. In addition, AST units must be build with a secondary containment area that is able of holding 100% of the tank’s contents in case of leaks, spills, and other kinds of potential damage. This secondary containment area must also accommodate an additional 10% if it is exposed to precipitation.
API 653, another standard, deals with the inspection of AST units. The Fertilizer Institute recommends that tanks be inspected roughy once every five years or lower depending on the corrosion rates of the tank materials. Above ground storage tank inspection is a serious business. The regulations aren’t there for nothing.
For more information about above ground storage tank inspection and other facets of AST upkeep, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.