For most people, expert help for an above ground storage tank ends at its purchase. As such, they opt for DIY tank installation since it is cheaper than expert installation and they assume nothing can go wrong. There are, however, several decisions you will need to make when installing an above ground tank, which requires expertise. One of these is its foundation.
There are three options available for foundations for above ground storage tanks. The ideal choice for your tank depends on your area’s soil composition and underground seismic activity.
Before settling on an earthen foundation, your installation expert will conduct a geological evaluation to assess your soil composition. If any issues such as fine sand, loose silt or soft clay are discovered, they might recommend various remedies. These include additives or compacting and moving suitable soil mixtures to create a firm earthen foundation. If these soil amendments are possible, an earthen foundation will be the most economical option for you.
If your area has deplorable soil conditions that cannot be amended, piling is the ideal foundation option. In piling, a column made of stone, concrete or steel is driven into the ground. This forms an underground pillar, which generates extra support with minimal risk of uneven and extreme settling for your tank’s installation. Piling is, however, expensive.
This is the most expensive foundation option for above ground tanks. But it is the only option for areas that are highly prone to earthquakes. Concrete foundations can withstand the seismic earth movements and hence prevent significant shifting of your storage tank.
Without a proper foundation, your storage tank will buckle under the capacity and structural load it will bear. This makes it prone to corrosion, buckling and bulges from water settlement on its underside. Installing a tank without expert studies to determine your best foundation option from the above more often than not leads to tank failure.