Three Commonly-Asked Questions About API 653 Inspections

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For anyone who owns and operates above ground storage tanks, adhering to the American Petroleum Institute (API)’s various standards and regulations for these tanks is crucial. These standards are in place to help prevent tank spills and leaks, protecting public health along with the environment.

Because of this, it’s advised that you have your tanks regularly inspected according to the API 653 inspection protocol. Doing so can help you keep your above ground storage tanks better maintained for longer.

Are all your questions about the sometimes-complex API 653 tank inspection process being answered as accurately as they should? To help you learn more about what to expect from an API 653 inspection, we’ve compiled this list of the three most frequently-asked questions about these above ground storage tank inspections:

Q: How often should my tanks be inspected?

A: Once monthly, the above ground storage tank owner or operator should perform an external inspection to check for signs of corrosion, leaks or spillage. Every five years, an API-certified inspector should perform a more formal external inspection that looks at each tank’s foundation and shell.

Q: What will the inspector look for?

A: An API-certified inspector will closely examine the thickness and durability of each tank’s shell, both through visual cues and things like ultrasound technology. He or she will check for signs of corrosion, leaks and potential spills. In addition, the inspector will perform a full inspection of the tank’s settlement pattern and foundation.

Q: Can I do anything to avoid fines or penalties?

A: To make sure you don’t get hit with any unexpected fines or penalties from federal, state or local regulators, establish a formal inspection schedule for your above ground storage tanks. In addition, keep detailed records of each monthly inspection you perform on your own.

Were your questions about the above ground storage tank inspection process not answered here? Feel free to ask any other questions you may have by leaving a comment below.

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