Have You Completed a Tank Floor Evaluation of Your Vertical Tank?

Posted on January 1, 2020

Have You Completed a Tank Floor Evaluation of Your Vertical Tank?

The deadline for floor evaluations on tanks installed before September 1, 2007 passed on August 31, 2017.  The deadline for tanks installed in 2008 and 2009 has also passed. The deadline for tanks installed in 2010 is December 31, 2020. The PTMAA will be adjusting the tank registration deadline to December 31 so tanks installed in 2010 will get a few more months than in previous years.

The Alberta Fire Code (2006) required that single-walled vertical tanks were subject to periodic leak detection that can be an API 653 inspection or a tank floor inspection completed every ten years.  The primary objective of the inspection is to evaluate the life expectancy of the storage tank. The type of testing to be carried out is not to establish the tightness of the tank at the moment of the test. The goal is to determine the suitability of the tank for continued service. The most recognized inspection standard for petroleum tanks is API 653 – American Petroleum Institute, “Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction”. Although this standard is typically used for tanks which are 30 feet in diameter or greater, the inspection is done for smaller, shop-built tanks, as well. The inspector must have internal access to the tank to conduct a complete 653 inspection. It may be possible to meet the minimum inspection requirement through the use of robotic analysis of the metal from inside the tank. If an in-service robotic method is chosen, the data and information collected shall be sufficient to evaluate the thickness, corrosion rate, and integrity of the tank bottom. If the tank does not offer a large enough opening it is possible to do an external analysis of the floor and shell. An API 653 inspection is very comprehensive and is completed by a qualified inspector. In addition to the tank floor, the 653 inspection evaluates the shell, roof, weld joints, venting, foundation, etc. 

The objective of the inspection is to determine if the tank is leaking or close to leaking and evaluating the life expectancy of the storage tank. Typically, the 653 inspector will enter the tank and do a magnetic flux leakage test. This will help determine if there is serious soil-side corrosion. If there is soil-side pitting, those locations are then tested using an ultrasonic thickness testing instrument. A common location for floor-bottom failure is the weld between the floor and the tank wall. An ultrasonic test is conducted in spots around the diameter of the tank. If the tank is going to be out of service during the inspection it might be an opportunity to do a thorough API 653 inspection. If the tank floor and weld joints are sound, the operator may want to consider the installation of an internal liner which would allow periodic monitoring from outside the tank (and exempt the tank from further Fire Code-mandated internal inspection).

This notice includes a number of companies in Alberta that can perform an API 653 inspection. It’s very possible that some of the listed companies can perform an evaluation using robotics and not require the tank to be emptied and cleaned to do the evaluation. It’s certainly possible that not all inspection companies have been included on this list and the PTMAA welcomes information about other firms that can provide the service. 

If the PTMAA has identified your tank as needing the 10-year inspection and the tank has been retrofitted with an internal secondary containment lining and monitoring system please contact our office to discuss the need for additional inspection. 

The requirement for the ten-year inspection was established in the Fire Code September 1, 2007. The next group of tanks that are subject to the inspection were installed in 2010 and must be inspected by December 31, 2020.  If your tank has had a comprehensive inspection between 2011 and 2020, please provide the report of the evaluation to the PTMAA by email: inspector@ptmaa.ab.ca  If your tank was installed after August 31, 2011, add ten years to determine the deadline for completion of the next inspection. The annual tank registration information provided by the PTMAA includes an installation date which should be used to plan your next ten-year inspeciton. If you need assistance determining your individual tank installation date, please do not hesitate to call the PTMAA.   

 Known companies that offer API 653 or robotic inspections:


Acuren Group Inc.




Fort McMurray






Aspelund Inspection


Grande Prairie
Medicine Hat

(403) 885-4525

Bakos Non-Destructive Testing        




Brias Inc.




Integrity Testing Services Inc



(780) 417-0340

JS Inspections



(780) 875-5711

Kheeran Inspection Services Inc.     



(780) 800-9453

Northern Materials Engineering



(780) 469-1164

RAE Engineering & Inspection Ltd.  





Grande Prairie

Red Deer

(403) 210-3305

(780) 469-2401

(780) 832-0031

(403) 356-9226

Rosen Canada Ltd.



(403) 269-1190

Ranger Inspection (2012) Ltd.          



(403) 252-4487

SGS Ludwig Associates



(780) 468-3030

Skystone International LP



(403) 216-3485

Streamline Inspection Ltd.                



(403) 454-6630

Tanknology Canada                            


Sherwood Park


Team Industrial Services                   




Ft. McMurray