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IMHO when you sign off on something it means you can guaranty whatever you are signing otherwise your statements as an engineer are no better than anyone else out there in the public. We do this with appropriate models of how "things" operate under certain boundary conditions. With the appropriate model and boundary conditions we can always be certain. What you are talking about is that gray area of uncertainty and if you are uncertain then you are not engineering and if you are not engineering you'd be best not to guaranty what you are not sure of.

Sounds like a questionable design but I'm sure there is more to it...

My two cents,


----- Original Message ----- From: "Chad Van Kampen" <Chad(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 9:51 AM

I was recently asked to review a tank for a precaster in order to prove
that the tank is sufficient to support the earth and liquid fill prior
to him signing off on the building.  This particular tank has been used
since 1947 and not a one has had any problems.  Looking at this tank,
which has a 3" wall and minimum WWF, the numbers will not come close to
proving it works, yet they never have has problems.

Question #1:  Would any of you seal a drawing based on past preformance
of the product alone?

Question #2:  This tank will be filled with water, equalizing the
pressures and reducing the moments to near zero, is this cast more
realistic to analyze?

Thanks for you help,

Chad Van Kampen P.E.
General Manager / Precast
Gerace Construction
(p) 989-496-2440 ext. 15
(f) 989-496-2465

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