Top 6 Reasons Behind Aboveground Storage Tank Failures
Top 6 Reasons Behind Aboveground Storage Tank Failures
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  • November 12, 2019

Top 6 Reasons Behind Aboveground Storage Tank Failures

Aboveground storage tanks are large containers made up of metal. The tanks rest on top of the ground and are designed to store liquids or gases.

According to aboveground storage tank manufacturers, these are particularly helpful in storing crude oils, chemicals, fertilizers, hot water, and acids.

One of the many standards that apply to aboveground storage tanks is API 653, “Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction”.

The guidelines are published by the American Petroleum Institute and throws light on inspection, repair, alteration, and reconstruction of steel aboveground storage tanks.

Before 2000, it was the only standard that was applicable to aboveground storage tanks.

The Steel Tank Institute, also known as the STI/SPFA, (a trade organization representing fabricators of steel construction products, such as steel storage tanks, field erected water tanks, and their suppliers) came up with a new standard in the later parts of 2000.

In the United States, aboveground storage tanks are primarily regulated by the Federal Government under 40 CFR 112.

The guideline provides clear instructions on how storage tanks should be designed, managed, and monitored.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also laid down guidelines on how the tanks should be transported, particularly those that have a storage capacity greater than 1,320 gallons.

Causes of aboveground storage tank failures

Recent studies conducted have revealed that despite all these regulations storage tank failures still happen.

Let’s now discuss the common causes of aboveground storage tank failures.

1. Corrosion – This is one of the most common reasons behind the failure of an aboveground storage tank. Studies have revealed that corrosion causes tanks to rupture from inside, and ultimately damages the entire structure.

2.  Plumbing Failure – Industry experts have revealed that corroding of pipes due to mechanical breakdown is another major cause of tank failure. They further add that the corrosive effect of acids and other chemicals on the inner surfaces of the pipe gradually leads to leakage. This again leads to mechanical failure if left unattended.

3. Poor Maintenance – Lack of maintenance, failure to replace fuel filters regularly, or inability to keep the tank and the surrounding area clean degrade the overall reliability of the plumbing and leads to storage tank failures.

4. Dispensing – Dispensing problems leading to storage tank failures are also quite common. If any of the equipment on your tank system fails, or if the outlet valves are left open, it’ll lead to failure of the entire tank system.

5.  Delivery Problems – If tanks are always filled up to its brim by tank operators, chances that the delivery system of the tank will fail are high. This can be seen as yet another reason behind aboveground storage tank failure.

6.  Lack of Physical Safety – The entire tank system is at risk of accidents, vandalism or other physical damage if it’s not well-protected. Unarguably, this is one of the major causes of tank failures.

So, here are 6 reasons why think above ground storage tanks fail. Let us know in the comment section if you want to add any.

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  • Aboveground Storage Tanks
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