API is A’OK Storage Tank Construction

Api standard 650

Seasoned stainless steel tank manufacturers will tell you just how sophisticated storage tank construction can be. Storage tanks serve an important function in several industries. They store the materials frequently needed in manufacturing, construction, farming, infrastructure, petroleum, and other fields. From storing industrial chemicals and liquid fertilizer to water and oil, above ground storage tanks (AST) provide a much-needed service for industry across the country.

Because liquid fertilizer tanks and others like them are so important, they are tightly controlled and regulated by both the government and industry regulatory agencies. One of those agencies, the American Petroleum Institute (API), sets several standards and guidelines for storage tank construction, maintenance, inspection and repair. API 650 is one of those guidelines. It regulates how above ground storage tanks are built, repaired, and run. One stipulation, for example, requires AST units to have a secondary containment area capable of holding 100% of the tanks contents to protect against leaks and spills. This secondary containment area must also have a 10% additional capacity for areas open to precipitation. Also, AST units that store 1,000 gallons of used oil or 10,000 gallons of virgin oil must have oil operations permits as issued by the Oil Control Program (applicable in Maryland).

And that is just one code! Another code, API 653, concerns the inspection of storage tanks. Depending on the materials stored and the size of the tank, AST unit owners must follow a consistent schedule of tank inspections. Inspections can be conducted as frequently as one year or as sparsely as five years. The tank’s interior, exterior, and surrounding area are checked for stability, weight, and other factors essential to the smooth running of AST units.

There are many other codes and regulations regarding storage tank construction and other facets of AST units. For more information, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.

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