Storing liquid fertilizers and pesticides is a necessity for many farmers. Since chemicals can be volatile, they require inert containers for safe storage. Storage tank users have to follow a few safety guidelines. A ruptured or damaged tank can lead to contaminated soil and may damage property, too. Sometimes, failure happens due to poor design, construction and a lack of maintenance.
To minimize the effects and prevent possible failures, follow these steps when maintaining liquid fertilizer tanks.
- Don’t buy used tanks as moving and installing them in a new spot can lead to problems.
- Make sure every employee is aware of operational hazards that accompany such tanks.
- Fill tanks only to the recommended level.
- Do regular inspections and ensure that there are no leaks. Check welded areas for any signs of trouble.
- Check more often during cold weather as steel can become very brittle.
- Drain tanks before carrying out repairs in case of corrosion or other problems.
- After inspection and maintenance, ensure that repairs are done based on standards. If repairs are not possible, replace the tank with a new one.
- Ensure that secondary containment is done in ways to prevent a leaking tank doesn’t compromise the safety of other tanks.
- Have an emergency plan in place to account for every contingency.
The EPA website is a good source of information for safety checklists and maintenance tips. Download and print out all the required papers and checklists. Keep them in an accessible place and ensure that all the users are aware of safety procedures and follow them to avoid problems.