Anyone who has ever worked on a farm knows how important liquid fertilizer tanks are in farming. These tanks store the fertilizer needed to produce the food for the nation. Their importance cannot be overstated — and neither can their maintenance. Liquid fertilizer tanks are subject to strict rules and regulations by the government as well as industry regulatory agencies. As steel storage tanks, liquid fertilizer tanks are regulated by the American Petroleum Institute (API). API has a number of regulatory codes that govern how above ground storage tanks (AST) are built, maintained, repaired, and inspected. These codes ensure their efficiency and safety, as many of these tanks are located near populous areas.
What are some of these codes? Here are a few stipulations found in API 650 and 653, two major codes regarding AST units:
- AST units with capacities greater than 1,000 gallons for used oil or 10,000 gallons for virgin oil must have operations permits from the Oil Control Program.
- Tanks must come equipped with a secondary containment area that can hold 100% of the tank’s contents in case of leaks and spills. In addition, these tanks must have an extra 10% capacity in areas exposed to precipitation.
- Tanks with a capacity larger than 1,100 gallons must have corrosion protection on its floor.
- All AST units must be built in compliance with two standard industry specifications: the Weld Procedure Specifications and the Procedure Qualification Record.
- These tanks must be built in order to withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes and flooding.
These are just a few examples of the numerous rules AST manufacturers and proprietors must abide by. AST units provide the backbone not just for farming but for several other industries, including oil, manufacturing, and waste management. API 650 and 653 are there to ensure the tank’s safety and effectiveness.
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