Frac tank considerations (2024)

Frac tanks that are used to store hazardous wastes need to meet the hazardous waste tank standards. The requirements for tanks include having a written assessment by an independent qualified professional engineer certifying the frac tank has sufficient structural integrity and is compatible with the wastes to be stored and that the tank is properly installed, having adequate secondary containment for the tank (an external liner secondary containment for an outside frac tank would need to be able to contain 100% of the capacity of the tank and have excess capacity for a 25-year weather event) , properly labeling the tank, completing and logging daily inspections, and completing closure of the frac tank when it is empty and will no longer be used for hazardous waste storage. The Large Quantity Generator Tank System Requirements guidance document provides a summary of the requirements.

Regulatory standing of frac tanks

Ohio EPA, in concurrence with US EPA, holds that frac tanks are subject to the hazardous waste tank requirements.

The term Tank is defined in OAC rule 3745-50-10(T)(1) (40 CFR 260.10) to mean “a stationary device, designed to contain an accumulation of hazardous waste which is constructed primarily of non-earthen materials (e.g., wood, concrete, steel, plastic) which provide structural support.” A frac tank that is managing hazardous waste would meet this definition. The US EPA has confirmed that a mobile hazardous waste tank (e.g., a tank with wheels) is regulated as a hazardous waste tank (Subpart J tank) rather than as a container, provided the tank is intended to be stationary during operation (see 52 Fed. Reg. 20919; June 3, 1987). Frac tanks are generally always stationary when they are being used to manage hazardous waste. By contrast, bulk containers (e.g., tanker trucks) are generally portable when managing hazardous waste.

Even in the case of a temporary frac tank during an immediate response to a discharge or a threat of a discharge of hazardous waste requires consideration of when the immediate response has ceased. Any storage beyond the immediate response period would require compliance with the hazardous waste tank requirements (Subpart J standards). Additionally, Ohio EPA has agreed with US EPA’s longstanding position which has been that individual incidents will dictate what “immediate response” will entail on a case-by-case basis (see 48 Fed. Reg. 2509; January 19, 1983).

Option to request a variance from the secondary containment requirements

A variance from the secondary containment requirement can be requested from the Director of the Ohio EPA. The requirements for the variance are defined in OAC rule 3745-66-93(G): The owner or operator may obtain a variance from the tank containment and leak detection rule if the director finds, as a result of a demonstration by the owner or operator, either that alternative design and operating practices, together with location characteristics, prevent the migration of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents into the ground water or surface water at least as effectively as secondary containment during the active life of the tank system; or that in the event of a release that does migrate to ground water or surface water, no substantial present or potential hazard is posed to human health or the environment. The procedure to request a variance from secondary containment is defined in OAC rule 3745-66-93(H).

Closure requirements for hazardous waste tanks

A generator using a frac tank for hazardous waste storage is subject to the closure requirements in OAC rule 3745-52-17 for the frac tank that held hazardous waste. A large quantity generators closing a hazardous waste tank needs to complete generator closure as described in OAC rule 3745-52-17(A)(8). This includes (a)(i) providing notification for the waste accumulation unit by placing a notice in the operating record within 30 days of after closure, or (a)(ii) meeting the closure performance standards under (A)(8)(c) of this rule for the tanks and notifying Ohio EPA within 90 days, using EPA form 9029.

A generator with a frac tank that is going through closure should take photographs and document how it is going through the closure process. The generator needs to maintain documentation on-site that demonstrates how the tank was cleaned, including an explanation of why this was an appropriate method, and maintain any sampling data that the generator collected to document the cleaning. The generator should keep any photographs that were taken to document that there were no releases and include in their records, any documentation from the tank rental vendor on their inspection and testing results to confirm tank functionality after the tank was returned to them. Within 90 days of the tank removal, the generator should complete and submit form 9029 to the Ohio EPA RCRAInfo group (Completed Site ID Forms should be mailed to Ohio EPA - DERR at P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH, 43216-1049).

Rule references:


For more information, contact the Hazardous Waste Compliance Assurance Section of the Division of Environmental Response and Revitalization at 614-644-2924.

Frac tank considerations (2024)


How many gallons of water can a frac tank hold? ›

A Frac Tank is a large, movable heavy gauge steel storage tank. Typically holding up to 21,000 gallons (500 BBL), it readily provides storage for fresh water, waste water, fuel, chemicals, fertilizers, and more. Easily pulled by a tractor to the job site, it can be moved/emptied as the need arises.

Can you transport a full frac tank? ›

DOT registered frac tank is a vehicle and can easily be transported by a tractor with a fifth wheel for delivery to anywhere where it is required.

Do frac tanks need to be grounded? ›

Grounding and bonding of tanks and equipment must be completed.  Appropriate actions on/around tanks must be discussed.  Spill/leak cleanup procedures must be reviewed.  Containment requirements must be reviewed.

How big is a FRAC tank containment berm? ›

Ultra Containment Wall System - 11' x 55' x 3' - 8794

And when it comes to containing really large vessels like frac tanks, tanker trucks and other large vehicles the Ultra-Containment Berm is often the solution.

How much does a 20000 gallon frac tank weigh? ›

The flat top frac tank holds up to 21,000 gallons or 500 BBL of liquid. Best uses: store fuel, diesel, liquid fertilizer, manure, septic wastewater, or fresh water. Each tank weighs roughly 28,000 pounds, and is 9 feet 6 inches high, by 8 feet 6 inches wide and 46 feet long.

How many gallons of water does it take to frac a well? ›

Water use per well can be anywhere from about 1.5 million gallons to about 16 million gallons.

How much does a FRAC fleet cost? ›

The reason: e-frac fleets can cost up to $60 million apiece because they rely on pricey gas turbines similar to those that run utilities to generate electricity, compared with as little as $30 million for a diesel-motor powered fleet.

What is the largest FRAC tank size? ›

Frac Tank Sizes

Fabric frac tanks sizes range from 20,000 gallons to 210,000 gallons.

What is the pressure rating of a FRAC tank? ›

The tanks are vapor tight with standard pressure rating of 1 PSI. Multiple ports on the roof are available for (optional) level gauges or “pipe away” tank venting. The thief hatch style pressure-vacuum vent rated for 16 oz/in2 (1 PSI) pressure and 0.4 oz /in2 vacuum.

How to clean a frac tank? ›

The material that is being held inside frac tanks is typically removed by pumps stationed at the bottom of the tanks either submerged in the liquid or mounted outside the tank as a flooded suction type of pump.

Are frac tanks vented? ›

Our Standard Frac Tanks are vented with capacities of 400-500 bbl and are typically used to receive pigging liquids and solids waste during a maintenance pigging project or when used during a chemical cleaning project.

Is a FRAC tank a confined space? ›

Frac tanks often pose confined space hazards, requiring strict adherence to confined space entry procedures, including atmospheric monitoring and rescue protocols.

How many gallons fit in a FRAC tank? ›

Frac tanks are used in all kinds of applications, and there are different variations of tanks. These tanks come in various sizes ranging from 8,400 gallons to 21,000 gallons and can be easily moved when empty using a tractor or a truck.

Are frac tanks double walled? ›

Double Wall Frac Tanks add an extra layer of security to the traditional single wall frac tank. With 18,000 gallons of capacity and an interior and exterior wall with a sealed gap in between, these tanks are perfect for storage of large quantities of fuel or materials that require the added layer of protection.

How many gallons require secondary containment? ›

UFC and IFC Requirements for secondary containment

Storage of liquids (including corrosive, flammable, toxic and combustible) where the capacity of an individual vessel exceeds 55 gallons (208L) or the aggregate capacity of multiple vessels exceeds 1000 gallons (3785L)

What is the capacity of a Baker tank? ›

Available in 30 or 70 m³ capacities, Baker tanks have been designed for diverse industrial applications including economical storage, heating, mixing, separation and sensitive environmental storage.

What is the volume of a FRAC tank? ›

Capacities: Standard frac tank sizes range from 20,000 to 210,000 gallons. Some of the most frequently used sizes include 50,000 gallons, 100,000 gallons and 210,000 gallons.

How many gallons of water can a semi tanker hold? ›

However, the maximum capacity of a tanker truck depends on the density of the liquid being transported, explains Trailers of Texas tanker expert Nick Harmon. Larger tankers average 5,500 to 11,600 US gallons for lighter weight products vs smaller tankers which average 3,000 to 5,400 gallons for heavier products.

How many gallons of water does a pressure tank hold? ›

Most residential pressure tanks come in 5 sizes. Roughly, 20, 30, 50, 60 and 80 gallons. What most people don't realize is that pressure tanks don't hold that much water. A general guideline is that 1/3 of the tank holds water and the rest is air.


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