Meeting API 653 Inspection Standards

November 25, 2019 7:55 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Tank inspections are essential for various industries. They ensure the durability of your storage tanks so they do not pose a threat to your workers, the work environment or the surrounding area. The point of tank inspections in Colorado is to find issues before they evolve into full-blown disasters. This is how API 653 inspections keep tanks safe.

Elements of API 653 inspections

Tank inspection requirements are established by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Inspections evaluate risks posed by tanks, and depend on the material stored in the tank and its location. A tank holding oil that is near an environmentally sensitive or heavily populated area would be subject to more stringent standards than one that is located in an isolated automated facility. Even in the latter case, tanks must meet minimum standards of integrity.

API inspectors are licensed and must have four years of experience. Their background allows them to thoroughly examine both the interiors and exteriors of tanks. When they evaluate tanks, they consider their location, materials, construction and any spill control or safety features. The inspection also examines the roof, shell and floor to see if there is a risk of leaks.

The purpose of the inspection is to locate the potential for leaks before they happen. However, that is not always possible, and the inspection may discover leaks that are already present. If there are leaks, the inspector will check further to make sure material drains into a catchment container rather than into groundwater. They will also monitor corrosion and determine whether the tank remains sound.

If your tanks fail inspection, the inspector may recommend they be taken out of commission until you complete any needed repairs. In the worst-case scenario, the corrosion and damage may be so extensive that you must replace the tank. Since risking damage to the environment and people can incur fines, it is best that you act on recommendations immediately.

Scheduling inspections

Tanks are made for the long haul, and if you regularly maintain them, they will likely pass every inspection. However, it is important that you stay up to date on inspections and hire the right personnel to conduct them.

External tank inspections should occur every five years, and internal inspections every 10 years. These are the inspections performed by licensed personnel, but it is also recommended that you perform an in-house internal inspection every five years. These can be performed by someone knowledgeable enough to find potential problems, and that individual does not need to be certified. Many oil companies assign this inspection to an experienced member of their team, and if there seem to be problems, they will often then confirm them with a licensed API inspector.

If there are issues with a tank, you should have a system for plant managers to record and report incidents. Problems caught early are easier to address. Plus, dealing with them early means avoiding major problems later.

There are other services that may also help your tanks remain reliable. If your company expects upcoming tank inspections in Colorado, DJC Enterprises Inc. offers services that may help you pass. Contact us today to learn more about our tank maintenance, blasting and painting services.

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