Above Ground Storage Tanks What You Should Know About These Cornerstones of Industry

Liquid fertilizer tanks

We may not always appreciate what above ground storage tanks (AST) do for us in the United States. In fact, many Americans probably don’t even know what AST units are, which is a shame considering they provide an invaluable service for industries across the country. AST units store the materials we use, directly or indirectly, everyday. From petroleum and foodstuffs to liquid fertilizer and water, these tanks ensure that the liquids industries rely on are safely and efficiently stored.

The AST units themselves vary depending on the materials they’re designed to store. Tanks that hold 50,000 gallons or more are generally constructed on-site and are known as field erected tanks. These tanks are nothing to trifle with! Tanks with smaller capacities can be manufactured outside the actual site. AST units that store materials for 30 days but for less than a year are considered temporary tanks. Regardless of their size and purpose, though, AST units are strictly regulated by the government and industry organizations. The tight guidelines are meant to ensure safety, especially when the materials being held are hazardous or corrosive.

The guidelines, of course, depend on the size and materials stored. Steel storage tanks with a capacity of 1,100 gallons or greater, for example, are required to have corrosion protection laid on the floor. Tanks that carry 1,000 of used oil or 10,000 of virgin oil must have an operations permit from the Oil Control Program. All AST units must have a secondary containment area around the tank capable of holding the entirety of the tank’s contents in case of leaks or spills. This secondary area must have a 10% capacity for precipitation as well.

There are considerably more regulations that guide AST units. No matter what, though, these tanks are the cornerstone of many industries, and their maintenance and protection is critical to the smooth functioning of many businesses and manufacturers. From smaller liquid fertilizer tanks to massive field erected tanks, AST units hold the materials we need to go on with our lives.

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