NCS Fluid Handling Systems specialize in the design, set-up, management, and operations of hydro-test water supply systems and related code compliance testing. These systems are required for the hydro testing of such above ground storage tanks built in accordance to codes and standards such as API 650, 620 and 653 storage tanks as well as AWWA storage tanks, pipelines and ASME pressure vessels.
We have over 300 years of combined experience in the water management, water treatment, filtration and hydro-test markets throughout Canada and have established processes and procedures of the highest quality to support our clients’ specific needs and conditions. Our operational capability is year-round and we’re able to operate in extreme cold weather with our 24 million BTU specialized heating equipment and comprehensive cold weather operating procedures. We are also able to operate in remote and environmentally sensitive locations given our methodical processes, and procedures that reduce environmental impact and meet federal waterway compliance requirements.
HYDRO-TESTING – MAY ALSO BE KNOWN AS HYDROSTATIC TESTING
We perform storage tank hydro testing services on all sizes and types of atmospherically operated tanks both in newly built applications and the re-certification of existing storage tanks. We perform all hydro test services covering the entire spectrum from the sourcing of any crossing agreements on public and private land, diversion licensing from applicable regulatory bodies, permanent or temporary water pumping systems with or without heating for cold weather operations, particulate filtration, water sampling and code specific functional test of the storage tank completed to applicable construction code or standard. The final step in our services is to supply a professionally assembled turn over package with detailed information required for the applicable regulatory body or utility commission granting the fit for service authorization.
Our skilled technicians and project managers are trained to support all elements of the test procedures in a safe and professional manner. Like all the services we offer, our processes and procedures have been carefully developed to minimize our environmental impact.
Contact us today to request a quote for Hydro Testing Needs! Read on for more information.
HYDRO-TESTING – PRESSURE TESTING
A common misunderstanding in the market is the purpose of Hydro Testing, also known as Hydrostatic Testing of new built API storage tanks. Many folks are of the belief that the hydro test on a newly built API 650 tank is just a leak test while others believe that hydro testing is important to do for settlement measurement. Both are partially correct, but also demonstrate the inconsistency around a full understanding of what is involved in Hydrostatic Testing a new built tank.
Without getting too involved in specific risk management guidelines in end users’ and owners’ specifications or considering the exemptions or the waivers that are granted within the body of the API-650 Standard, the following are a brief summary of the main reasons for Hydro Testing a new built tank:
- Confirm that the tank is leak free and tight as well as confirm nozzles, manways, shell seams, attachments, etc operate as intended
- In the event a pontoon style floating roof is installed, confirm pontoons are leak free and manway access operational.
- Confirm weld integrity is suitable to withstand operational conditions.
- Allow for confirmation of uniform settlement on the tank base.
In summary, Hydro Testing demonstrates a tanks fitness for service by providing an integrity test, minimizing the risk of catastrophic failure by using test conditions that replicates operational conditions using a test medium (water) with a specific gravity greater than the designed for cargo. Therefore, this hydrostatic test subjects the tank to a harsher condition than the tank would see during normal operation. Additionally, other testing steps may also be added to a hydrostatic test situation for items such as an uplift test of anchor bolts and chairs. When tanks are designed for elevated internal pressures (lower than those in a API- 620) or in situations where a tank is designed to operate in a seismic zone, tests for uplift can be confirmed.
This article will discuss how hydro testing is not just simply water transfer and when done by experienced specialists a hydrostatic test can be made to suit several types of tank(s) services, testing of components and the elements of a tank that are evaluated when hydro testing is performed completely and properly.
Without getting too involved in specific risk management guidelines in specific end users’ and owners’ specifications or considering the exemptions or the waivers that are granted within the body of the API-650 Standard the following are quite simply summarized that “the main reasons for Hydro testing a new built tank are”:
Confirm that the tank is leak free and tight, nozzles, manways, shell seams, attachments etc.
In the event a pontoon style floating roof is installed, confirm pontoons are leak free and manway access operational.
Confirm weld integrity is suitable to withstand operational conditions.
Allow for confirmation of uniform settlement on the tank base.
Perform full functional test of all working components of the tank accessories, such as: Check rolling roof stairways for full range of operation and self leveling functional test, floating roof drain range of operation, floating roof range of operation, floating roof seal may be elected to be installed and tested for range of operation, anti rotation devices etc.…
In summary, Hydro testing demonstrates a tanks fitness for service by providing an integrity test, minimizing the risk of catastrophic failure by using test conditions that replicates operational conditions using test medium (water) with a specific gravity greater than the designed for cargo. Therefore, this hydrostatic test subjects the tank to a harsher condition than the tank would see during normal operation. Additionally, other testing steps may also be added to a hydrostatic test situation for items such as, uplift test of anchor bolts and chairs as well when tanks are designed for elevated internal pressures (lower than those in a API- 620) or in situations where a tank is designed to operate in a seismic zone, tests for uplift can be confirmed.
As just mentioned above, in situations where a tank may be designed to operate at a small internal pressure, which is less than 2.5 PSI (above 2.5 PSI API-620 applies) or when the internal pressure does not exceed the weight of the roof plates and additional test is performed. In this designed for situation, this type of tank must be tested with water 51 mm or 2 inches above the top angle and a vacuum box test of all roof seams / welds is performed. Caution must be used when conducting the following test condition and strict operating test procedures must be followed. The code does allow test some pneumatic test procedures where design pressure exceeds the weight of the roof plates and additional pneumatic test of 1.25 times design pressure can be added. While there are many situations that may dictate this additional testing, this procedure is typically used on tanks having anchor bolts and chairs to test uplift as well avoid deflection of tank shell to bottom over pressurization and bottom deflection. It is not recommended that the cargo be used to hold the tank done as the shell to floor weld joint is still under stress which is not the preferential joint of failure should it occur.
Many tank terminal owners do take the hydro testing portion of the tank out of the contract and manage the test themselves, in some cases the testing may be left in the scope of the tank constructor, who may elect to perform the hydrostatic test portion themselves or subcontract this out to specialists such as NCS Fluid Handling Systems. These same tank constructors may subcontract the water supply, transfer portion of filling and draining the tank(s), however contrary to what some water supply or management companies may advertise this is not performing the hydrotest, casting another area of confusion around expertise and capability of performing a proper hydro test.
The team at NCS Fluid Handling Systems take the training and education of what a full Hydro test really is quite seriously and provides training sessions through various forums such as lunch and learns to any size team or group. We believe that through an ongoing education at the customer level we can help those designing or evaluating testing requirements to understand the whole process, not just water management or transfer and how by considering a few relatively simple requirements that do not add significant overall project expense we can provide comfort that operational risk is minimized, and asset integrity is maximized.
Contact us today to request a quote for Hydro Testing Needs!