An above ground storage tank, or AST, is often the best solution for chemical storage. But just as with underground tanks, conformity with federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Spill, Prevention, Control and Countermeasure regulations is paramount.
These regulations govern everything from tank design, to construction to installation. This is to maximize protection of both people and the environment from potential hazardous chemical migration into soil, surface water or groundwater.
Since about half of the nation’s drinking water comes from groundwater, these parameters are unquestionably important.
10 Characteristics and Functions of Above Ground Storage Tanks
- All new above ground storage tanks must be compatible with substances being stored.
- Secondary containment has become standard practice. A positive by-product of this, however, is that increased safety precautions allow ASTs to be installed in locations once deemed unsuitable. Secondary containment is accomplished with a double-walled tank or by constructing a dike system to house the tank and capture any spillage. (The secondary containment system must have the capacity to hold 110% of the contents of your tank.)
- Every AST and its valves, etc. must be clearly labeled with the international symbol and color representing the stored chemical. Since mixing chemicals can be disastrous, it’s easy to understand why.
- Depending on a tank’s location, it may or may not to be subject to specific fire rating standards.
- An AST is faster and significantly less expensive to install than an underground tank since there’s no excavation or subsequent re-landscaping to factor in.
- Similarly, an above ground tank is significantly easier to move, should the need arise–particularly if it’s smaller in size.
- Government regulations require specific types of record-keeping as well as periodic inspections of ASTs. Records must be completed daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the activity.
- Regular maintenance and cleaning of both your tank and surrounding areas can mitigate problems caused by accumulated rainwater, leaves or other debris. This upkeep will also help make visual inspections.
- Determining the appropriate tank for your needs is essential. Working with a professional environmental engineer to assist in selecting the best equipment, installation options and ongoing monitoring plan is an important first step. You’ll be teaming up with an expert who understands the full scope of safe chemical storage procedures.
- Leaks and spills are entirely preventable. The consequences – environmental damage, personal health and safety, fines and the cost of clean-up – can be quite serious. For the most part, they can be avoided by proper tank maintenance and operation.
If you have a suitable location and meet local requirements for an AST, Contact Walden Associates and we will develop a plan to install your new tank cost-effectively and professionally.