What Should be in an API 653 Tank Inspection Report? – Part 1 Executive Summary

View from Top of Tank (1 of 1)Being a responsible above ground storage tank owner, you just had an API 653 certified inspection complete a full API 653 tank inspection to either fulfill your state requirements or based on The Fertilizer Institute’s recommendation of conducting an  API 653 inspection every five years.  The API 653 inspector should provide you with a report summarizing the tests conducted and the results.  So what should be included in the API 653 tank inspection report to show the safety status of your storage tank?

An API 653 tank inspection report covers a large amount of information, so this blog will continue over several weeks to cover all of the detail that an inspections report should include. So stay tuned as we cover the various sections and data that should be included in a report.

The basic sections of an API 653 inspection report are an overall or executive summary; a detailed section of the inspection observations and results; and a section including the measurements taken, calculations performed, and some visual documentation of the condition of the tank at the time of the inspection.

In this blog post, we will look at what is usually included in the executive summary section.

Executive Summary Section

The executive summary section reflects the bare bones status of the above ground storage tank: is the tank safe to operate per API 653 specifications or not?  API 653 sets minimum requirements for an above ground storage tank to continue in service.  Thus, the language used for the tank inspection summary will likely reflect this by stating whether the tank is fit for continued service based on whether it meets the minimum API 653 requirements for the tank shell, roof, floor, and if applicable, the internal PVC containment liner.

Passing with Flying Colors

If an above ground storage tank is fit for continued service under the API 653 specifications, the report executive summary should include the maximum fill height for the tank.  This height may change over time, so it is critical to know this number to fill the tank safely.

As a liquid storage tank ages, the safe fill height may decrease due to the corrosion of the steel plates and tank welds by the product stored.  This gradual corroding away of the tank material decreases the amount of pressure the tank can safely withstand from the liquid product stored in the tank.  Another reason for a lowered maximum fill height is if a different product with a higher specific gravity is stored in the tank.

API 653 Versus Suggested Repairs

An API 653 tank inspection report will also identify if any repairs are needed and if it is a mandatory repair.  There are two basic types of repairs on an API 653 tank inspection report: API 653 mandatory repairs and discretionary repairs.

If a tank does not meet one of the API 653 specifications, the tank must be repaired to meet API 653 specifications.  Until the repair is completed, the tank will likely either be restricted from service or have a lowered fill height.  Clearly, API 653 mandatory repairs should be a priority for any tank owner to put a tank back into full service.

Discretionary or suggested modifications are just that: suggestions.  However, these suggestions, if followed, may save the tank owner money in the long-run.  Suggested modifications, such as removing dirt and foliage from chime area, repairing external areas where paint is failing, installing an internal coating on first and second shell courses, adding gravel to the tank base area, and cleaning out and painting the inside of valve boxes, all have the aim of preventing possible damage to the tank in the future.  By implementing these suggested repairs and modifications, you will likely lengthen the life of your above ground storage tank.

Golden Nugget of API 653 Inspection

The executive summary of an API 653 tank inspection report is packed with the most crucial information about the storage tank inspection results.  If you have any questions about an API 653 inspection report or want to schedule an API 653 tank inspection by a certified inspector, contact Heartland Tank Services at 800-774-3230 or through our website.

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