Storing hazardous substances in tanks

Storage tank Inspection

Businesses in an array of industries choose to store hazardous substances in tanks because it is convenient. It could be chemicals, oil, pesticide, fertiliser, or many other products. The key thing here is to maximise safety. To do this, it is important to monitor the tanks to look for signs of wear. Professional storage tank inspection and NDT should be part of the monitoring.

Types of tanks

You will usually see two very different types of tank. The first are aboveground storage tanks (ASTs). They are typically made of steel. The second option is underground storage tanks (USTs). Generally they are made of concrete or steel. Some people may also choose to use modern GRP or thermoplastic tanks for above or underground applications.


There are a lot of regulations and standards for these tanks in the UK. The goal is to reduce the risk of hazards to people as well as the environment. As we said above, regular inspection and testing is vital. The UK government and Environment Agency both recommend it. Therefore, if you use a tank you should include both as part of your routine maintenance.

One of the most important things you should be looking for when you inspect steel tanks is signs of corrosion. In time it can weaken the metal and allow leaks. These can result in hazardous substances spilling into the environment where people could come into contact with them or they could soak into the soil and groundwater. If either happens, it could result in huge penalties. You may also need to invest in leak detection equipment.

Regular storage tank inspection

Format NDT Ltd helps various businesses with monitoring tanks. We offer several types of non-destructive testing to do this. Each form can tell you various useful things about a tank; this can include the remaining service life as well as potential problems like corrosion and creep damage. The tests can be very accurate, looking for surface and subsurface flaws within metals. They can also check the quality and condition of welds. Most importantly, the testing does not cause any damage to the tank.

The best practice here is to have inspection and testing regularly. The frequency should depend on things like the specifications of the tank, the substances you are storing, and environmental factors. When there is a higher risk of wear, tests should be done more often.

So, if you want would like to arrange professional storage tank inspection from an experienced third party, rely on Format NDT Ltd. You can contact us to arrange a time to suit you.