Many industries and operations require the use of on-site petroleum products like gasoline, diesel fuel, lube oils, engine oils, and more. In businesses that range from airports to farms, these products are essential for everyday operations and, as such, companies must find ways to safely store these petroleum products in the least risky way possible, while also abiding by zoning restrictions, insurance rules, and other guidelines.
While there’s always some risk to having an above-ground storage tank on your property, those risks can be managed with good engineering practices, adherence to industry standards, and the right location. That’s why it’s important to employ a company like Western Oil Services, which has plenty of experience installing and servicing above-ground storage tanks, to handle your storage needs.
Protecting Your Storage Tanks
Companies that have above-ground petroleum storage tanks on their property need to take into consideration the risks that are associated with such tanks. This includes:
- Terrorist threats
- Potential for environmental pollution
Nevertheless, properly installed above-ground tanks hold many advantages over those that are placed in the ground.
- For example, if a tank leaks, it’s easy to identify and locate the problem as compared to an underground tank, which could be leaking for a long time before the issue is discovered.
- In addition, it’s much easier to relocate an above-ground tank, if necessary. Things like additional construction or an altered traffic flow may make relocation a must in some instances, and it is indeed possible to safely move an above-ground tank.
- Finally, if a property is sold and a new business moves in that doesn’t need the tank, this kind of tank can be removed. This eliminates any risk to the new owner and also increases the value of that property and others around it.
Still, the issues you need to watch out for could be serious ones if careful consideration isn’t given to location and other engineering practices.
- Above-ground tanks could be vulnerable to weather conditions such as high winds and lightning as well as flooding.
- Vehicles can back into them if they’re not properly cordoned off.
- Owners of adjacent properties may consider the tank and its hoses and piping to be unsightly and may be concerned about pollution caused by the contents and possible leaks.
However, personnel can be properly trained to handle and even eliminate the risks associated with above-ground storage of petroleum products.
Here are a few more things to remember as you consider purchasing an above-ground storage tank.
- Make sure the tank you’re considering is intended for outdoor use.
- Tanks that are designed to hold flammable liquids such as gasoline should be fire-
guarded or vaulted to prevent fuel ignition for two hours during a fire.
- Consider a tank with a secondary containment area, which should be able to hold the contents of the primary tank. This could be a double-walled tank, which serves the same purpose.
- The safety of people and property is paramount. Choose a location for your tank that’s away from traffic patterns, buildings, creeks, wells, power lines, or any type of ignition source.
- Place your tank on a secure base, like a reinforced concrete pad.
- Properly label your tank with information that includes contents, tank volume, hazards, and warnings. This not only assists employees but is essential for emergency responders in the event of an accident.
- Install some type of barrier around the tank to avoid vehicular contact, especially if the tank has been unavoidably placed in a busy area.
- Tanks should always be grounded and explosion-proof pumps should be used.
- Tanks should have a primary vent and an emergency vent. These allow vapors to escape and lessen the chance of an explosion. The primary vent pipe should be checked often for blockages.
There are many other rules and regulations surrounding the installation of above-ground tanks for petroleum products. Both national and provincial rules should ALWAYS be followed for the safety of people and property.
At Western Oil Services, we’ve got decades of experience installing both above-ground and buried storage tanks and can help you decide which will work best for your needs. We also offer you our experience in the replacement and upgrade of older fuel systems and the introduction of new backup systems. We’ve worked in a variety of commercial and industrial settings and stand ready to offer you our best advice on installation and maintenance.
For a free no-obligation initial consultation, call the experts at Western Oil Services at 1-800-663-2097.