October 2017                                   Volume 32, Number 3
Wind, flood, and fuel: Harvey and Irma
Hurricane Harvey's flood waters triggered a spill of almost a half-million gallons of gasoline from two storage tanks along the Houston Ship Channel. The spill measured 461,000 gallons.
Hurricane Harvey's flood waters triggered a spill of 461,000 gallons of gasoline from two storage tanks along the Houston Ship Channel. 
top"The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has climbed the ranks of the all-time most active seasons on record, thanks to a frenetic stretch of long-lived, destructive hurricanes from mid-August through early October," according to The Weather Channel.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused extraordinary damage in Texas, Puerto Rico, and southeastern U.S. states. 
Loss of human life and property due to these events is overwhelming and tragic. Petroleum fuels storage operations are also affected and contribute to the losses. Here are links to reports, articles, and information about the impact of these disastrous events:
SP001 revision comments due October 27
The STI/SPFA AST Inspection Standards Review Committee is soliciting public comment through October 27, 2017, on revisions to  SP001, Standard for the Inspection of Aboveground Storage Tanks and SP031, Standard for Repair of Shop-Fabricated Aboveground Tanks for Storage of Flammable and Combustible Liquids.

For more information, contact Dana Schmidt at dschmidt@steeltank.com. Comment deadline is October 27. Publication of the new editions of SP001 and SP031 is anticipated in early 2018.

STI's free AST maintenance brochure
All storage tank systems, both underground (UST) and aboveground (AST), con­structed of any material, and storing nearly any product--gasoline, diesel, residential and commercial heating oils, aviation jet fuel--are susceptible to damage if water is allowed to accumulate. The potential for damage applies not only to the tank, but also to the entire storage system.

STI recently published a brochure, "Inspect your tanks, maintain your tanks, reduce your risk," containing information about keeping water out of AST systems. A similar brochure focused on UST systems was published in spring of 2016. In total, these brochures were sent to all registered owners of STI tanks since 1991.

"These documents are part of our continuing efforts to educate tank owners,
operators, regulators, and consumers about the effects of water on fuel and in fuel storage tank systems," said Wayne Geyer, Executive Vice President of STI-SPFA.

Both brochures are free for reproduction and distribution at www.steeltank.com, on the tab "Fuel Storage Tank System  Maintenance." If you have difficulties with the download, contact the Editor.

STI revises R051 CP testing requirements
spill bucket test Tanknology
Thanks to a committee of dedicated industry experts, STI recently published a revised version of R051, Recommended Practice for Testing Cathodic Protection of sti-P3 tanks.

Changes to R051 include a sample form for the CP tester; new drawings and figures to better illustrate how to conduct a CP test; a new definitions section; and information on the care and maintenance of CP testing equipment.

R051 is based on application of sound engineering principles and the combined experience of the revision committee members. It's compiled of data from tank owners, manufacturers, regulatory authorities, and cathodic protection testers. 

CP testers and others looking for basic knowledge about how to test sti-P3 tanks will find it an easy-to-follow guide.  R051 and all other STI documents are available   from our website Store.

STI extends appreciation to these members  of the R051 Revision Committee:
Coby Hayes, Chair
JL Houston Co. Inc.
Mike Asma (Alternate)
Matthew J. Cutshall
Sheetz, Inc.
Kevin Henderson
K. Henderson Consulting, LLC
Mike Hill
Mass Tank Inspection
Andrew J. Koenig
Enerfab, Inc.
Steve Nagy
Tait Environmental
Michael Phelps
Bob Pickens
AT&T Services, Inc.
Stephen Pollock
Michael Pomes
Brian Pottebaum
R&A Risk Professionals/PMMIC
Rick Rogers
UST Corrosion Management
Tim Sievert
Advanced Corrosion Control
William Simpson
PCA Engineering, Inc.
Eric M. Swaisgood
Speedway LLC
Ed Ward
SC Fuels

What happened to this tank?
What do you think happened to this tank? Email your comments to the Editor and we'll publish the best answer in the next issue of Tank Talk.

Fuel polishing: getting rid of bugs 
With th e incr eased occurrence of microbial  contamination in fuel storage tanks since the advent of biofuels, "fuel polishing" is a rapidly-growing service business. Fuel polishing is the technical cleaning process used to remove or filter microbial contamination from oil and hydrocarbon fuel in storage.
Ron F. Sickels, PhD--known as "The Fuel Doctor"--has 25 years of experience specializing in fuel and tank quality, as a mechanical, chemical and environmental engineer.  Tank Talk asked Dr. Sickels, currently Vice President of Purification Services for Relevant Solutions, LLC, to answer a few questions about fuel polishing.

The nation's infrastructure gets only a D+ grade
"Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers' Report Card for America's Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report  card--assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement..."

That's the introduction to ASCE's 2017 Infrastructure Report Card website. The report is comprehensive and dense with information, by state and by infrastructure sector.
Ice-cold tank inspections in Antarctica
Dan Boley's penguins
"Inspection of storage tanks in Antarctica is not something that can be done on a moment's notice. It requires preparation for some of the harshest weather on the planet..."


STI's tank repair standard
SP131 "most complete and current"
Many state and federal regulators look to STI's standards and recommended practices for definitive storage tank criteria.  Recently, a state regulator called STI-SPFA to ask if he could include an article about STI's SP131 tank repair standard in a newsletter. "I've read all the tank repair standards and STI's SP131 is the most complete and current," he said 

By way of review, STI's SP131 standard covers the inspection, repair, and modification of an atmospheric-type, shop-fabricated, carbon and/or stainless steel underground storage tank. It applies to tanks storing stable liquids at atmospheric pressure.

SP131 covers tanks built to a nationally-recognized standard for underground storage tanks. It may be used for the repair of other tanks at the discretion of the tank owner. It applies to tanks that are installed and also to tanks that have been temporarily removed to achieve a repair.

27 year old UST is clean as a whistle
Here's another demonstration that steel storage tanks last virtually forever, if they're properly inspected and maintained.

This sti-P3 tank was recently pulled and found to be in pristine condition after 27 years underground.

Clean outside...
...and inside

Photos courtesy STI Member 
Clawson Tank Co., Clarkston, Michigan
Back to top
"Weird, but in a good way" department
This just in from inhabitat.com:  " The answer to our global plastic catastrophe may be in sight. Spanish researchers have discovered that the wax worm, a caterpillar known for munching on the wax within beehives, is able to  devour and biodegrade  polyethylene plastic, converting it into a form of alcohol found in antifreeze."

Wind, flood, and fuel
SP001 revision comments
Free AST maintenance brochure
R051 CP testing revised
What happened to this tank?
Getting rid of bugs
Infrastructure only gets a D+
Ice-cold tank inspections
Clean as a whistle
"Weird, but in a good way"
Lookin' good at 30!
Interesting tank use
LNG station explosion
Lookin' good at 30!
Lookin' good at 30
STI-SPFA Affiliate Member  Tanknology specializes in inspecting tanks via in-tank video. Tanknology shared this video of a TankCam inspection they did for an owner to assess risk for his older tanks.
"This one is in great shape for a 30-year-old tank!" said Brad Hoffman, VP of Engineering.

Interesting tank use...
This UL2085, 4,000 gallon Fireguard tank fuels lightrail mass transit locomotive in Texas. (Tank manufactured by Watco Tank, Floresville, Texas)
LNG station explosion
kills seven in Ghana
Earlier this month, a tanker truck carrying natural gas caught fire in Accra, Ghana, triggering explosions in a liquefied natural gas filling station and a nearby petrol station. The Ghanian government announced seven people had died and 132 were injured.

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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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Tank Talk Editor

Noël Zak



944 Donata Ct.
Lake Zurich, IL 60047


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. 


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