Three Things API Inspectors Will Check During Their Inspections of Your Fertilizer Tanks

Field erected tanks

All above ground storage tanks — especially field erected tanks containing fuels and chemicals — are subject to a number of regulations at the state and federal levels.

As a result, it’s policy and procedure for inspectors from the American Petroleum Institute (API) to formally and routinely inspect all above ground storage tanks once every five years.

And if you’re new to the API inspection process, it can be tough to know whether or not your tanks will pass inspection or not. To help, here are the three things that API workers will always inspect during an API 653 tank inspection:

The tanks’ outer shell

It’s natural for all above ground tanks to experience corrosion over long spans of time due to the nature of the materials stored within them. During an API 653 inspection, personnel will thoroughly examine the outer shell of each tank to check for any corrosion or weakness in the shell. If a tank’s shell has corroded too much, it runs the risk of leaks and spills, which would violate most state fertilizer containment laws in addition to harming the environment and costing you money.

Tank repair work

If your tanks have been repaired in the last five years, an API inspector will be required to closely examine the repair work that has been completed. All repairs completed on an above ground tank must comply with API standards — if the repair work you’ve had done on your tanks doesn’t meet these standards, the tank will likely fail inspection.

Tank settlement

It’s natural for any large above ground tank to settle into the ground over time. However, if your tanks settle at an uneven plane, its ability to contain the materials within will be compromised. API inspectors will take a close look at the settlement of each tank with a settlement survey that looks at planar tilt and identifies any bulges or depressions in the tank’s floor.

Know of any other parts of an above ground storage tank inspection that will always take place? Share your knowledge with your fellow readers by leaving a comment below. Find more on this here. See more.