If you’re in the market for a liquid storage tank, don’t be fooled into thinking that all of the different available storage tanks on the market today are pretty much the same. Your application has requirements that need to be considered carefully. Whether you plan to store potable water, wastewater, chemicals or other liquids, it is important to remember that each material being stored is unique and has its own specific requirements.
Before you begin the process of purchasing storage tanks, be aware of a few key considerations that will help ensure you get the best value and the right storage vessel for your application.
Materials of Construction – The volume of material to be stored will help determine the construction materials for your tank. Exceptionally large volumes often require field welded steel and concrete tanks. Bolted and shop welded steel tanks will accommodate a wide range of volumes and materials.
Tank Size and Placement – Will the tank and the in-field construction process be limited by space requirements? For job sites that are restricted in space consider a tank of smaller diameter and taller height provided you have no obstructions or height regulations. Unlimited spaces will allow for a tank of wider diameter and shorter height. Both may accommodate a variety of materials and volumes.
Consider the Environment – Wind loads, seismic conditions and roof loads (such as snow loads) are important criteria for tank design. These criteria are critical to the safety and optimal performance of the storage tank.
Corrosion Resistant Coating – The principal enemy of the storage tank is corrosion, and a tank’s only defense is its coating. Choose a technologically advanced coating, such as one that has been applied at the factory under environmentally controlled circumstances to ensure a clean, proper cure and even coat. Factory applied coatings are field proven as the longest lasting and strongest coatings for any storage application. Field applied coatings are subject to the environment during application and curing process.
Think About Expansion – Will your growing business demand expansion down the road? Field welded and concrete designs are very difficult if not impossible to expand once they have been installed. Bolted tanks are expandable with simple hardware and gasket with proper initial design planning.
Think About Moving – Yes, it’s possible to move certain designs of storage tanks. While field welded and concrete tanks are permanent, bolted designs may be taken apart and reassembled panel by panel in a different location. You may want this flexibility for your installation.
The Safety Factor – Be sure the coating you choose is tested and certified for the liquid you’re planning to store. Incorrect use of a tank could result in severe corrosion, premature failing of the coating, harm to the product or serious injury to personnel. Also, remember that tanks and coatings to be used for drinking water storage must be “NSF Standard 61 Certified.” (is this an American standard?)
Choose Your Features – Common features available for tanks today include vent(s), overflow, inlet, discharge nozzles, side and roof access manways, ladders, perimeter guardrails, and liquid level indicators. Ask your tank manufacturer about other specific needs you may have.
Compare Total Life Cycle Cost – Up front costs don’t always reflect the total life cycle cost of a tank. It is important to take into consideration how many times you will have to service or re-coat your storage tank over its lifetime when making your purchase decision. This maintenance to ensure a long performance life in certain designs may be expensive. Typically, choosing a better coating up front will reflect lower maintenance costs down the road.
Choose an Experienced Vendor – To ensure your vendor is best for the job, ask lots of questions. How long has the company been actually manufacturing tanks? Do they offer a wastewater specialist? Are their coatings applied at the factory? Do they sell in your market, and in your country? Consider vendors with the ISO 9001 Quality Certification, and beware those that offer to manufacture “to those standards” without the actual certification.
For more suggestions and information about choosing tanks and coatings, visit www.cstindustries.com.