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Steel storage tanks are the primary means for storing large volumes of liquids and gaseous products. The stored fluid could be water, but it could also be volatile, corrosive, and flammable fluid requiring special precautions for storage as well. Corrosion is generally worst where the tank is in contact with the soil. This article describes the soil characteristics and addresses cathodic protection (CP) criteria for submerged metallic piping systems. It provides information on the data required for designing a CP system, alone or in conjunction with a protective coating system. These data are collected from predesign site assessments, tank electrical characteristics, and soil-resistivity measurements. The article addresses NACE Standard RP0169, which gives requirements and desired characteristics for coating in conjunction with CP. It also explains the methods of protecting aboveground storage tanks and underground storage tanks.

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