FEBRUARY 2018                                   Volume 33, Number 1
STI announces revised SP001 standard
After two years of study and revision, the Steel Tank Institute announces SP001 Standard for the Inspection of Aboveground Storage Tanks 6th Edition, and SP031 Standard for the Repair of Shop-Fabricated Aboveground Storage Tanks, 5th Edition.

STI wishes to thank the members of the STI AST Standard Review Committee, a balanced, 48-member committee of STI/SPFA tank fabricators, federal and state regulators, bulk storage tank owners, tank repair companies, and several other interested parties.
Highlights of the revised standards
  • A new Appendix includes inspections of heated thermoplastic liquids storage up to 500° F. This appendix is aimed at inspections of asphalt tanks.
  • "The maximum specific gravity of the stored liquid" was removed from the scope.
  • Inspection guidelines are now provided for steel diked tanks and concrete-encased shop-fabricated tanks.
  • Suitability guidelines for continued service of double-wall tanks and concrete-encased shop-fabricated tanks are now provided.
  • Monthly and annual checklists are revised.
  • The "safety considerations" and "welding" sections are revised.
STI's SP001 Aboveground Tank System Inspector Training program 
This four-day program provides STI certification for inspecting shop-fabricated above-ground tanks, portable containers, and small field erected tanks. Our 2018 classes include the changes to both SP001 and SP031 standards.

How to purchase SP001 6th Edition and SP031 5th Edition
To order, go to www.steeltank.com and click Publications and then STI/SPFA Store. The price for SP001 6th Edition is $195.00 and for SP031 5th Edition is $120.00, or save $40 when you purchase SP001 and its companion standard SP031 together for $275.00.

Special offer: If you purchased the previous 5th Edition of SP001 after October 31, 2017, you can receive a 50% discount on the 6th Edition. Send email to Linda Frederick at lfrederick@steeltank.com and include your 5th Edition sales order number. This offer is valid through April 30, 2018.
Leaking tank causes explosions
On October 20, 2017, residents of a condominium complex in a Chicago suburb were rocked by ten explosions and forced to evacuate their 150 units. The explosions were caused by a leaking underground gasoline storage tank system at a retail fuel station. The location had four 10,000 gallon single wall FRP tanks that wereinstalled in 1989.

According to Chicago news coverage, the station owners reported that they had become aware of loss of product on Monday, October 16, and began pumping out their tanks on Thursday, October 19. Although speculative, the worst-case scenario was that the entire content of one of the storage tanks was released into the ground.

The local fire district first received a report of an "odor" on October 19. The day of the explosion, the "odor" extended over half a mile in the sanitary sewer pipe. The following links provide more detail, including a press release about the Illinois Attorney General's lawsuit.
STI's Watchdog program nears its end
Watchdog program
STI's Watchdog® program is a free service that tests the cathodic protection of qualified sti-P3 tanks over their 30-year warranty life. The program has been very successful. We take a look back as it winds down over the next five years. 

"Thirty years ago, the industry did not fully understand corrosion control practices," said Wayne Geyer, Executive Vice President of STI/SPFA, "nor the need to verify and trust cathodic protection readings as indicating total stoppage of corrosion."

This tank was underground for 24 years. Its sparkling clean interior is a fine example of how proper monitoring and maintenance
assures the long life of steel tanks.
Inspector report: Why did this tank "blow out" while filling?
Robert L. McChan II sent us this report and photos, knowing the incident would be of interest to the tank industry. Bob is an STI and API inspector, and is general manager of STI/SPFA Affiliate Member Genesis Environmental Solutions, Blue Springs, Missouri.

"I was called to investigate why a 10,000 gallon diesel fuel tank 'blew out' while filling (photo below left). They had put approximately 5,000 gallons in when the tank end was blown off. 

"After looking at it, I knew that, from the shape of the remaining tank, it had to do with over-pressure.

"First, I verified that the tank fill and the vent pipe were of the same size (photo center). Then I examined the screens on the vent. Both sides of the natural vent were completely plugged (photo on right). Then I also noticed that there was no 'weighted emergency vent.' 

"If this tank had been outfitted with an ER vent, the over-pressure would have been vented with the internal pressure. Instead, they had a major release. Thankfully, no one was hurt."

Award-winning project replaces old, wood penstocks
At its recent Steel Water Pipe Section meeting in Florida, STI/SPFA recognized member companies in three product categories with its Steel Water Pipe Awards for 2017. (Entries are for products fabricated in the prior year.)

Best Steel Water Pipeline Project
Mid America Pipe Fabricating & Supply,
Scammon, Kansas

2017 Pipeline Award - Mid America PIpe
The old penstocks at Grandfather Falls near Tomahawk, Wisconsin, were built in 1975 redwood planks reinforced by steel bands, similar to wood barrels turned on their sides. Holes in the wood were filled with tar, but not all holes and seams could withstand the pressure and river water sprayed out of them like a water fountain.

"The wooden penstocks had exceeded their life span and leaks developed in the pipe, causing massive loss of water at more than 7,000 gallons per minute. So when it came time to replace the wooden pipelines, steel was the obvious choice. Pipe joints were shipped in 42 foot lengths; 74 permitted and escorted trucks were required to get the 11 foot and 13 foot diameter pipe delivered to the jobsite."

Best Steel Water Pipe Fabrication

Mid America Pipe Fabricating & Supply

2017 Pipe Fabrication Award - Mid America PIpe

Pump discharge header

Best Steel Water Pipe Section Affiliate Product/Project
Baker Coupling Co. Inc., Los Angeles

2017 Pipe Affiliate Award - Baker Coupling

66" dismantling joint produced with a special extra thick flange.

Steel water pipe and pipelines are used in potable water systems throughout the nation and the world. Photos and descriptions of the 2017 entries and award-winners are posted on STI/SPFA's website.

Changing fuels affect more than cars
Tank Talk readers are familiar with issues that have developed in the motor vehicle fueling industry as a result of new fuel formulations and biofuels. But did you know that the fuels for other transportation sectors are also undergoing change?

In the November 2017 issue of Hydrocarbon Processing, Michael Jeitziner of Honeywell Germany writes:
    "The marine fuels market is on the brink of a major global upheaval. The decision by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the worldwide cap on vessel sulfur emissions from 3.5% to 0.5% by January 2020 will prompt the development of special fuel formulations, (versus currently used heavy fuel oil).

    "Compatibility issues and the presence of catalytic fines are likely to generate the most headlines in the run-up to the 2020 change, but the costly issue of water content must not be overlooked....Water removal can also lead to additional disposal costs, and maintenance may be necessary to remove water-related sludge from the fuel purification systems."

The railroad industry is also seeing fuel changes. After 2014, EPA's diesel standards required that all nonroad, locomotive, and marine (NRLM) diesel fuel must be ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD). This is a significant change for the rail industry.

In 2012, the seven largest freight carrying (Class 1) railroads consumed more than 3.6 billion gallons (gal) of diesel fuel, amounting to 10 million gal/day and representing 7% of all diesel fuel consumed in the United States. Fuel alone accounted for 23% of the rail companies' total expenses. (Source: Energy Skeptic

In November 2017, the Fuels Institute launched its Fuel Quality Council (FQC) to evaluate the relationship of diesel fuel to modern high pressure common rail engines. As new high pressure common rail diesel engines increase in market share of the rail industry, there are reports that engine breakdowns and failures have increased, presumably due to fuel quality.

The FQC will engage in collecting engine maintenance data, fuel sampling analysis, and research initiatives.

Tanknology's fascinating field videos 
Tanknology Tanknology, an Affliate Member of STI/SPFA, is the world's largest provider of tank testing and environmental compliance services for petroleum systems, according to their website.

Tank Talk readers will already be familiar with two of Tanknology's webpages devoted to internal tank inspections:  TankCam Inspections and Aging Fiberglass UST Assessment Programs.

Now Tanknology's website has a blog called Tank Trouble Tuesday which features videos and posts from Tanknology's inspections:
Minnesota leads in alternative fuels in 2017
" Minnesota again led the region in the growth and use of cleaner alternatives to traditional petroleum fuels in 2017, according to the American Lung Association in Minnesota. The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center lists 763 public and private alternative fuel stations located in Minnesota, compared to 601 in Wisconsin, 416 in Iowa, 124 in South Dakota and 76 in North Dakota. The alternative fuels sold in the state include ethanol, biodiesel, electric vehicle charging stations, propane fueling stations and compressed natural gas (CNG)."

Meanwhile in Iowa...
Elite Octane LLC's
new ethanol plant in Iowa
There are plenty of steel tanks required to manufacture ethanol. Iowa Farmer Today reported on the new ethanol plant under construction in Cass County, Iowa.

The site will have eight fermentation tanks, each holding 807,000 gallons. Three finished ethanol storage tanks will hold two million gallons each.

Tank Talk Editor  Noël Zak to retire
STI/SPFA staff member Noël Zak will retire in mid-March. She was hired at STI/SPFA in January 2011 to be the Manager of Communications and Membership.  She is editor for our four newsletters: Tank Talk , Education Connection , The Insider , and Safety & Health Spotlight.
Executive Vice President Wayne Geyer praised Noël's talents in communications. "Noël has an uncanny knack for taking very complex subject matter and summarizing it in only a few sentences or paragraphs. Her writing skills are amazing.  We will miss her wisdom and experience not only with Tank Talk , but with all of our other communication avenues."

"Most of all, we are losing a good friend and an industry advocate," Geyer said.  Noël has worked in the trade association arena for 37 years.  "I love the culture that not-for-profit trade associations bring to the business world community," she said.  "When I retire, I'll spend more time with my favorite hobbies of bird-watching and choral singing," Noël said. "I hope to bird watch in the Peruvian Amazon next year."

Revised SP001 standard
Leaking tank causes explosions, injuries
STI's Watchdog program nears its end
Why did this tank "blow out?"
Award-winning project replaces wood penstocks
Changing fuels affect more than cars
Tanknology's field videos
Minnesota leads in alternative fuels
Tank Talk editor to retire
Video: Wait for it at 1:10!
Your answers: What happened to this tank?
Free educational brochures
Wait for it at 1:10!
24,000 gallon fuel tank erupts out of the concrete due to extremely high ground water and low fuel levels.
Your answer: What happened to this tank?
In the October 2017 issue of Tank Talk, we asked readers to submit their opinions on what happened to this Fireguard tank. We received 24 emails. 

The consensus is that there's no normal vent on the tank, so  no way to let air into the tank as fuel is pumped out. Result: vacuum and collapsed tank.
Educational brochures for owners and operators of storage tank systems

Particularly with today's newer fuels, poor operations an d maintenance procedures for monitoring and removing water from storage tank systems can lead to a number of risks, from phase separation to fuel quality degradation and damage to the entire storage system.

STI's easy-to-understand brochures encourage owners and operators to monitor and remove water from their fuel storage tanks in order to maintain quality product and reduce their business risk. 

"One of the best websites in the industry."

Industry Calendar of Meetings, Conferences and Events

STI/SPFA Education and Certification Programs
Click links below for information and registration

May 22-24, Cheyenne WY
June 6-7, Rochester MN
Oct. 2-3, Kansas City MO
Oct. 3-4, New Castle DE

March 12-16, Oakland CA
April 23-27, Baltimore MD
June 11-15, Baltimore MD
August 20-24, Baltimore MD
Dec. 10-14, Baltimore MD

Online Certificate

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Tank Talk is published by STI-SPFA. For additional information or to enter a complimentary subscription for yourself or a colleague, please visit our website.

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Noël Zak



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Technical and other information published in Tank Talk is provided without representations or warranties, express or implied.  In particular, STI/SPFA does not warrant the accuracy of information presented from external sources. 


Steel recycles no fill