Tips for Determining When to Have a Storage Tank Inspection

Corrosion is one of the leading problems in the storage industry. Globally, every year, the corrosion results in a loss of over $2.2 trillion. This is roughly equivalent to 3% of the global GDP. In the United States, causes each US armed service loss of an average of $5 billion every year. If left unchecked, corrosion can lead to problems like tank failures, leakages, and contamination. This sneaky enemy can bring businesses to a standstill and even have disastrous implications on the environment. Thus, state and federal governments have made it mandatory for industries relying on storage tanks to their storage containers and facility within compliance. Such facility owners and businesses constantly work with API inspection companies to ensure they are compliant and their facility is risk-free.  

Facility owners and operations have a crucial role in ensuring the storage tanks and equipment are in optimum condition. Having a proactive approach to facility safety means routine tank inspections. Nuclear plants, refineries, petrochemical facilities, and other such industries that deal in storage tanks must be critically inspected regularly. 

However, most facility operators and owners struggle to keep track of industrial tank inspection schedules. Remembering when to call for pressure vessel inspection or STI inspection can become a challenge in big facilities. 

This blog has highlighted some tips that will help you keep track of your storage tank inspection schedule. 

Federal and State Regulations

Aboveground storage tanks and facilities are regulated and governed by numerous federal and state laws. The local or state authorities enforce a majority of these compliance requirements. Besides this, each jurisdiction has its own inspection requirements and needs. 

Federal tank inspection laws cover specific industries that deal with hazardous waste and fuel storage or distribution. Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule has been drafted to facilitate industries and storage tank operators in forming, maintaining, and implementing SPCC plan. SPCC rule guides industries on how to prevent accidental discharge of hazardous waste and oil into the water bodies or neighbouring shorelines. Besides this, federal regulations have specific inspection guidelines for field-erected tanks, shop-fabricated tanks, and underground storage tanks. Field-erected tanks are required to undergo internal API inspection every ten years. Similarly, external inspections must be conducted every five years. Only certified API inspection services companies can undertake such inspections. 

The state government may ask for non-destructive testing reports before issuing a new permit to tank facilities. If you are applying for a license, you should consider a risked-based inspection of your facility. 

 API 653 Standard

You can keep track of the next tank inspection schedule by referring to the API 653 standard. API 653 standard serves as a guideline for tank facility owners and operators to carry out inspection services. Tank inspection is a highly specialized profession, and only trained and certified inspectors can conduct API tank testing. API 653 standard recommends that certified inspectors must conduct a formal external assessment in a five-year interval. The standard also talks about calculation-based checks on tank thickness. Risked-based inspections are another excellent tool for accessing corrosion rate and depreciation rate.