5 Tips for Reducing Leak Risks in Aboveground Storage Tanks

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Aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) are widely used in various industries to store liquids such as petroleum products, chemicals, and water. These tanks are relatively easy to install, maintain, and operate, but they also pose serious risks if not handled properly. One of the most significant risks associated with ASTs is leakage, which can cause environmental damage, health hazards, and financial losses. Therefore, it is essential to take preventive measures to reduce leak risks in ASTs. To help you out, here are five tips for reducing leak risks in ASTs.

1. Conduct Regular Inspections and Maintenance

One of the most effective ways to prevent leaks in the tanks is to conduct regular inspections and maintenance. By inspecting the tank and its components regularly, you can identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems. Some of the things you should check during inspections include the tank shell, roof, piping, valves, fittings, pumps, and containment systems. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and industry standards when conducting inspections and maintenance.

In addition to visual inspections, you should also perform non-destructive testing (NDT) to detect hidden defects such as corrosion, cracks, and weld defects. NDT methods such as ultrasonic testing, radiography, and magnetic particle testing can help you identify defects that are not visible to the naked eye.

2. Implement a Leak Detection System

Another effective way to reduce leak risks in ASTs is to implement a leak detection system. A leak detection system can detect leaks early on and alert you before they cause significant damage. There are several types of leak detection systems available, including:

– Visual inspections

– Pressure testing

– Electronic sensors

– Ultrasonic sensors

– Infrared imaging

Choose a leak detection system that best suits your needs and budget. Make sure to test the system regularly and address any issues promptly.

3. Train Employees on Proper Handling and Maintenance

ASTs are only as safe as the people who operate and maintain them. Therefore, it is crucial to train your employees on proper handling and maintenance procedures. Make sure they understand the risks associated with ASTs and know how to handle and store liquids safely. Provide them with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure they know how to use it correctly. Also, make sure they know how to operate and maintain the tank and its components properly.

4. Use High-Quality Materials and Equipment

ASTs are exposed to various environmental factors such as temperature changes, corrosion, and mechanical stress. Therefore, it is essential to use high-quality materials and equipment that can withstand these factors and prevent leaks. Choose tanks that are made of corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel, fiberglass, or coated carbon steel. Use high-quality valves, fittings, and pumps that are designed for the specific liquid being stored. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and industry standards when selecting materials and equipment.

5. Have a Contingency Plan in Place

Despite your best efforts, leaks can still occur in ASTs. Therefore, it is crucial to have a contingency plan in place to respond to leaks quickly and effectively. Your contingency plan should include procedures for isolating the leak, containing the spilled liquid, and notifying the appropriate authorities. Make sure your employees are trained on the contingency plan and know their roles and responsibilities in case of a leak.


Reducing leak risks in ASTs requires a bit of work. By following these tips, you can minimize the likelihood of leaks and mitigate their impact if they occur. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when working with ASTs.

Are you in need of tank inspections and maintenance? ATM Tanks are the trusted name in panel tanks. We have been servicing and replacing the government, energy and mining sectors panel tanks for the last 15 years. For more information on what we can do for you, visit our website today!

Aaron James
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About The Author

Aaron James
Aaron has been working at ATM Tanks for the past 5 years. He has completed a wide range of projects across Australia including new tank builds, cleaning and servicing existing tanks and countless tank inspections. However he has excelled recently at project management for ATM Tanks.

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