The above ground storage tanks used to store oil and other petroleum products are vital, both within the oil industry and for the farms and industrial sites that need to have fuel on-site. But oil spills and leaks can be costly and harmful to the environment. With that in mind, here are some tips for safely maintaining steel storage tanks:
- Place Tanks in the Right Spot: Tanks should be located well away from flood plains.
- Ensure They’re Properly Secured: Above ground tanks need to be secured to foundations proportional with their size.
- Keep Tanks Full: You’re more likely to have a problem with condensation if you keep a tank partially empty for extended periods of time, so it’s best to scale your tank size to the volume you’ll be storing on a regular basis.
- Avoid Overheating: Heat from the sun can also cause condensation, as well as increasing emissions. Painting tanks a light color will help with this problem; there are also special paints that fight corrosion.
- Have Appropriate Shut-Offs: Shut-off valves should be located in an easily accessible spot, and anyone working near a tank should know how to shut it off in case of an emergency.
Above Ground Storage Tank Inspections
Regardless of the kind of storage tank you’re working with, it’s a good idea to get regular inspections. If you have large field erected tanks, however, you should know that inspections by API-653 certified inspectors are mandatory. API-653 is a protocol that governs any tanks taller than 30 feet or with a diameter of 30 feet or greater. It’s very important you bring in API-653 certified inspectors not only because of liability issues, but also because a spill from a tank this size can be environmentally devastating. That means doing periodic voluntary inspections and staying on schedule with official inspections is good business and the right thing to do.