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Specialists In Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Solutions

Working with customers who specialist in a range of industries such as petrochemicals, water and wastewater storage and treatment, and hazardous waste, DirecTank has fast become the go-to resource for the AST industry.

By Direct TankPublished 13 days ago 4 min read

Why do we need an aboveground storage tank inspection?

Aboveground storage tanks play a crucial role in various industries, providing storage for liquids such as oil, chemicals, and water. These tanks are subject to wear and tear, potential leaks, and structural issues over time.

To ensure safety, environmental protection, and regulatory compliance, regular aboveground storage tank are essential.

In this article, we will explore the importance of aboveground storage tank inspection and the reasons why it is necessary.

Importance of Aboveground Storage Tank Inspection

Safety and Environmental Concerns

Aboveground storage tanks hold potentially hazardous substances. Regular inspections help identify and address any issues or weaknesses that could lead to leaks, spills, or catastrophic failures. By detecting and resolving problems early on, inspections contribute to maintaining a safe working environment and preventing accidents that could harm employees, nearby communities, and the environment.

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory bodies and agencies have established guidelines and standards for aboveground storage tank. Compliance with these regulations is mandatory to ensure the safe operation of tanks and to avoid penalties or legal consequences.

Regular inspections help businesses stay in line with regulatory requirements, maintaining their reputation and credibility in the industry.

Preventing Costly Leaks and Spills

Leaks and spills from aboveground storage tanks can have severe financial implications. Not only can they result in the loss of valuable products, but they can also cause environmental damage, leading to expensive clean-up and remediation efforts.

Regular inspections help identify potential areas of weakness or corrosion that could lead to leaks, allowing for timely repairs or maintenance to prevent costly incidents.

Ensuring Structural Integrity

Aboveground storage tanks are subjected to various external factors such as weather conditions, corrosion, and stress.

Regular inspections assess the structural integrity of tanks, including the foundation, supports, and the tank itself. Identifying any structural issues early on helps prevent tank failure, which could result in significant damage, financial loss, and harm to personnel.

Preventing Contamination and Product Quality Issues

Contamination of stored liquids can occur due to various factors, including tank degradation, leaks, or improper maintenance. Inspections help detect signs of contamination and ensure that the stored products maintain their quality.

By identifying potential sources of contamination, inspections contribute to preserving the integrity of the stored materials, avoiding costly product recalls, and protecting the reputation of the company.

Types of Inspections

There are various methods and techniques used for aboveground storage tank. These include:

• Visual Inspection: This involves a thorough visual examination of the tank's exterior and interior surfaces to identify any visible signs of corrosion, leaks, or damage.

• Non-Destructive Testing: Non-destructive testing methods, such as ultrasonic testing and magnetic particle testing, are used to assess the integrity of the tank without causing damage.

• Ultrasonic Testing: Ultrasonic waves are used to detect internal defects, such as thinning walls or cracks, by analyzing the sound waves reflected from the tank's surface.

• Magnetic Particle Testing: This method uses magnetic fields and iron particles to identify surface defects or cracks in ferromagnetic materials.

Visual Inspection

Visual inspection is a crucial component of aboveground storage tank inspection. It involves a thorough examination of the tank's exterior and interior surfaces to identify any visible signs of corrosion, leaks, or damage. This inspection method relies on the trained eye of inspectors to detect anomalies and assess the overall condition of the tank.

During a visual inspection

The external surface of the tank is carefully examined for signs of corrosion, rust, or degradation. Inspectors look for any signs of leakage, such as stains, drips, or puddles around the tank. They also inspect the tank's supports, including the foundation, to ensure structural integrity and stability.


The tank is inspected for any signs of contamination or product quality issues. Inspectors may enter the tank if it is safe and accessible to visually assess its internal condition.

They check for the presence of sediment, sludge, or foreign objects that may impact the quality of the stored liquid. They also inspect the lining or coating of the tank to ensure its effectiveness and integrity.

Visual inspection allows inspectors to identify potential issues early on, enabling prompt action to prevent leaks, spills, or structural failures.

By identifying corrosion, degradation, or signs of wear, necessary maintenance or repairs can be initiated to prolong the tank's lifespan and prevent costly incidents.

In addition to visual inspection

Other methods such as non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques may be used to complement the assessment of tank integrity. NDT methods, such as ultrasonic testing and magnetic particle testing, provide a more in-depth evaluation of the tank's condition without causing damage.


In conclusion, aboveground storage tank inspectionis a critical practice for ensuring safety, environmental protection, and regulatory compliance. The importance of regular inspections cannot be overstated, as they play a vital role in preventing costly leaks, spills, and structural failures.


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