It seems that news about storage tank leaks pop up more often than they used to. Various locales suffer damage to their ecosystems and economies, when many of these incidents could be prevented by adhering to API 650 and 653 inspection standards. These underscore the importance of knowing what your api tank needs are and ensuring that you are meeting them. Inspections are an important step in tank care and maintenance.
The government is very strict about these inspections and regulations in particular because so many things could potentially go wrong. For example, on March 2, an oil spill from an above ground storage tank in Washington state into the nearby Yakima River, eventually pouring at least 1,5000 gallons of used motor oil and covering at least 50 ducks, geese, and other wildlife birds in oil. These spills are bad for the environment, the community, and business. In Colorado’s 2013 floods, 48,250 gallons of oil and 43,478 gallons of produced water were spilled from tanks. It takes time to regain a community’s trust in you, and in the meantime clean up expenses add up.
You must know your tanks, what is in them, and what those substances need to be held safely. Liquid fertilizer is going to have to different specifications than a tank holding petroleum, and those tanks will have different specification than a tank for food production. Determine the appropriate coating for your tank or have a company who specializes in api tanks and tank repair help you determine what it is. Some products, such as liquid fertilizer are extremely corrosive, so inspecting often and getting the right lining will significantly reduce the risk of an accident. Investing in good above ground storage tanks also increases peace of mind. Good equipment you can trust is important especially in areas with less than ideal environmental factors. A state like Oklahoma, has many transport hubs for oil, but also gets very cold. It is imperative that oil be kept in safe conditions where the cold does not affect structural integrity. API tank inspections can ease town resident’s fear, open a transparent dialogue, and give you knowledge of potential issues before they happen.
Is there damage in your tank? Should it be reconstructed or re-purposed to fit new business needs? Steel storage tanks are required to have corrosion protection on the tank’s floor during construction to prevent accidents. Do you have to repair tanks damaged from tornadoes or other severe weather incidents? The Fertilizer Institute actually recommends the API 650 standard for new tanks, so bear that in mind as you’re deciding how to proceed with old tanks.
Code and inspection are meant to make tank storage safer for everyone. Adhering to them and getting inspections done regularly can help prevent disasters like Yakima. Other weather events such as floods, fires, and tornadoes can also affect the safety of your api tanks, so installing quality tanks and maintaining their upkeep can keep one issue that is out of your hands from affecting the things you can control.