Reduce risk and maintain compliance with our specialist risk management services.

We’re proud to be a leading provider of complete life cycle risk management solutions. From ensuring asset safety and legal compliance with our thorough engineering inspections to driving operational efficiency with our specialist non-destructive testing services, (and much more in between), we’re proud of the long-lasting partnerships we have formed with our customers over the last 160 years, based on the value of our solutions.

What is a storage tank inspection?

Ever wondered how storage tanks maintain their strength and reliability? Let’s dive into the world of storage tank inspections – a crucial process that safeguards our resources and ensures safety standards are met.

By identifying potential issues early on, storage tank inspections play a vital role in preventing catastrophic failures that could lead to environmental disasters, public safety hazards, and disruptions in the supply chain of valuable resources. Safety is priority!

Types of Storage Tanks

Storage tanks can be used in a wide range of industrial settings, for storing water, gases, oils, chemicals and even food products. Depending on their requirements, these storage tanks can be above-ground or buried below-ground.

Oil storage tanks

An above ground storage tank is a large container that is placed on the surface of the earth on stable platforms. They usually store fuels, oil and gases in bulk quantities.

Below ground storage tanks can be used to save space when storing large quantities of oil, gases, and fuels. They can also be used as an additional safety method; these tanks are designed to prevent leaks and corrosion.


Chemical storage tanks

Chemical storage tanks are made from durable, corrosion resistant materials, that can withstand storing hazardous chemicals for long periods of time.

Above ground storage tanks are used to contain chemical or liquid storage tanks in chemical manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, or agriculture to store products such as acids, solvents, fertilisers or pesticides.

Chemical underground storage tanks that may be used to store hazardous chemical and substances below the surface to minimise environmental risks.


Storage silos

Storage silos are cylindrical structures with metal supports, usually used in agriculture to store grains, food products and fermented feed. They can also be used to store other materials like coal, powders and cement.


GRP Water Storage Tanks

Storage tank inspections can also be carried out on Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) water tanks, Polypropylene storage tanks, vertical storage tanks, horizontal storage tanks, fixed roof storage tanks, dome roof storage tanks, and floating roof tanks.


What is a storage tank inspection?

Inspections aim to assess the integrity of the storage tank through an in-depth examination. This helps to make sure that they are safe to use, are compliant with storage tank regulations, and detect any early signs of defects.

Storage tank inspections are a specialist non-destructive test (NDT), carried out by technicians qualified to EEMUA 159/ API 653.

There are many different procedures involved in a storage tank inspection, such as basic non-destructive testing (NDT), floor inspections, shell inspections, assessing the foundation and a thorough inspection of fittings and fixtures.


Why inspections should take priority. 

Storage tank inspections are extremely important, as they can help to identify and prevent potential risks, such as leaking or cracking due to corrosion, material degradation, or structural failure that could pose environmental and public safety hazards.

Regular inspections help to prevent accidents which can cause harm or injury to employees involved in operating and maintaining the storage tanks.

Local communities could also be affected by incidents storage tank failures if there are leaks, spills or explosions that could endanger the public and cause environmental hazards through contamination.

Inspections also help to maintain industry regulations and standards and extend the life of storage tanks by detecting and addressing issues before they become major problems, safeguarding valuable resources such as oil, gas, chemicals, and other stored products. Regular inspections ultimately reduce costs, ensuring operations continue, and ensures compliance with regulations and authorities.

The cost of failing to carry out regular storage tank inspections are not just environmental, but legal, financial and reputational.


Storage tank inspections by the BES Group 

We understand that choosing the right storage tank inspector can be difficult. That’s why we offer bespoke support to each client to meet their unique needs. Whether you’re looking for support with your GRP, fuel or septic tank inspection. We’ve got you covered.

Before your storage tank inspection, our accredited team of specialists advise you on the right preparation methods for your tank. This includes cleaning, blasting and advice on whether an in-service or out-of-service examination is necessary.

During our storage tank inspection, we will carry out a thorough examination of your tanks, including:

  1. Basic Non-Destructive Testing (NDT): We will use a variety of advanced techniques to detect any potential problems with your storage tank. These include Ultrasonic Thickness Testing (UT), Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI), Dye Penetrant Inspection (DPI) and Vacuum Box Inspections, as well as visually inspecting the tank.
  2. MFL Tank Floor Scanning: We will scan and map the entire tank floor using our Magnetic Flux Leakage Floormap 3Di. This can be used on lined and unlined tank floors.
  3. Shell Inspection: Our remote-access Dry Coupled Scorpion Crawler will continuously record digital thickness measurements, removing the need for scaffolding at the sides of the tank, significantly reducing costs.
  4. Settlement Assessment: We analyse and monitor any changes in the position or alignment of the tank structure and its foundation or surrounding terrain.
  5. Fittings and Fixtures: We carry out a thorough inspection of fittings and roof support columns using Visual Inspection, Ultrasonic Thickness Testing (UT), and Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI).
  6. Findings and Reporting: We will provide you with a comprehensive report with our inspection findings, and any recommendations and options for continued safe use of the tank.


How often do storage tanks need to be inspected?

The frequency of tank inspections will vary depending on the type of tank, how it is used, and its environmental conditions. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide the frequency of your storage tank inspections:

  • Regulatory Requirements: Are you working towards a specific regulation? Does it mandate how often inspections should be carried out? This is usually based on tank size, contents, location, and potential risks.
  • Industry Standards: Does your industry offer any guidance on recommended inspection frequencies for your storage tank, and it’s use?
  • Risk Assessments: Have you carried out a risk assessment on your storage tank? What is the likelihood of failure? What are the consequences of failure? Are there any past inspection findings that need to be considered? Are there any operational or environmental factors to consider?
  • Tank Age and Condition: How old is your storage tank? Does it have a history of leaking, failing or corrosion? Storage tanks that have previous issues may require more frequent inspections to monitor any potential issues before they escalate.
  • Materials Stored: What type of materials does your tank store? Hazardous or corrosive substances may require more frequent inspections to prevent failures causing environmental contamination and safety hazards.
  • Environmental Conditions: Where is you tank stored? What is the temperature, humidity, soil composition of the area? Is your storage tank exposed to any corrosive elements or harsh conditions?

Recommendations for inspections:

  • Yearly visual inspections on above-ground storage tanks
  • Comprehensive external NDT inspections on storage tanks every 5 years.
  • Comprehensive internal NDT inspections every 10 years.
  • Higher-risk tanks or tanks storing hazardous and corrosive substances may require more frequent inspections.


How can BES Group help?

We offer a comprehensive approach to meeting our unique client requirements.

With BES Group as your storage tank inspection partner, we will work with you to implement a regular maintenance and inspection programme to safeguard your storage tanks and comply with industry regulations.

Our key services include tank preparation and cleaning consultation, NDT testing, fitness for service and remaining lift assessments, and corrosion protection systems.

Whether you’re interested in atmospheric, thermoplastic, or GRP storage tank inspection, we’ve got a personalised solution that’s just right for you.

Learn more about our storage tank inspection services

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