Above ground storage tanks (AST) provide aren’t necessarily well-known but they provide an invaluable service for several industries in the United States. From oil and industrial chemicals to liquid fertilizer and water, AST units ensure that the liquids used everyday by numerous industries can be stored quickly, safely, and effectively. Without them, it would be increasingly difficult to store and therefore use these liquids, which would cause serious disruptions of the products they are used for.
AST units are so precious to American business that they are closely regulated by the government and industry regulatory industries. The American Petroleum Institute (API), for example, issues a set of codes that stainless steel tank manufacturers must adhere to and AST owners must follow when maintaining and inspecting their tanks. What do some of these rules entail, exactly? As you can imagine, quite a lot! API standard 650, for example, contains several stipulations on how a tank should be constructed. API 650 rules include:
- All AST units must have a secondary containment area built around it that can contain the entirety of the tank’s contents in case of leaks or spills.
- This secondary containment area must have an additional 10% capacity if exposed to the elements to account for rain and snow (among others).
- AST units with capacities greater than 1,100 gallons are required to be built with corrosion protection on the tank’s floor.
- AST units must also be built in order to withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides.
- The tanks must be built according to the standards of the Weld Procedure Specifications (WPS) and the Procedure Qualification Record (PQR).
API standard 650 can get considerably complicated. Following the regulations takes time, money, and a lot of work. It is all done in the name, however, of safety and industrial efficiency. For more information about these codes, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.