Most Americans may not know what above ground storage tanks (AST) are but almost all Americans benefit from them in one way or another. AST units provide ample, efficient, and safe storage for the materials several industries across the United States need. Liquid fertilizer, oil, industrial chemicals, sewage, and water are just a few of the substances that AST units carry. Without steel storage tanks, these substances would not be able to be used as quickly and as efficiently as they are now, which would lead to massive disruptions of American industry.
The regulatory agency that is mostly responsible for regulating these tanks is the American Petroleum Institute (API). API establishes several codes that control how ASTs are built, used, maintained, cleaned, repaired, and inspected. Above ground storage tank inspections are critical to their smooth functioning. In particular, API 650 and API 653 stipulate the requirements all above ground storage tank owners must follow. Not following these codes can lead to fines, sanctions, and worse.
What are some of the stipulations of API 650 and API 653? There are quite a few (hundreds of detailed stipulations, in fact) but here are a couple to give you an idea of what these codes entail:
- Tanks with a capacity greater than 1,100 gallons must have corrosion protection on its floors.
- Tanks need to be built surrounded by a secondary containment area that can contain the entirely of the tank’s contents. In addition, these containment areas need an extra 10% to hold precipitation.
- Tanks must be built in order to withstand earthquakes and flooding among other natural disasters.
- Tanks need to follow two manufacturing specifications during construction: the Weld Procedure Specifications and the Procedure Qualification Record.
API 650 and API 653 involve much more than this but the stipulations above just go to show how thorough tank construction and maintenance is. For more information, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.