Fuel Tank Testing: Best Practices for Fuel Quality, Compliance, and Safety

By Published On: March 16, 2023Categories: Daily Market News & Insights

Owning a bulk tank may be essential for many companies that require uninterrupted access to fuel. While convenient, on-site tanks require regular testing and maintenance to ensure they remain in good condition. Proper conservation is also essential for maintaining the quality of the fuel stored. Neglecting tank care may result in fuel contamination, negatively impacting the performance and lifespan of your equipment and vehicles.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that companies with 55 gallons or more of above-ground storage containers conduct testing as part of their Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. This regulation requires owners to test their fuel storage tanks for leaks, corrosion, and other problems to prevent spills and ensure the safety of personnel and the environment.

Here are six measures you can implement to ensure that your fuel storage tank is properly maintained and tested:

1 – Quality Management System                                                                            

Implementing a quality management system (QMS) can improve fuel tank testing rates by ensuring consistent and accurate testing procedures. A QMS can help standardize testing procedures, reduce errors, and increase efficiency. It can also provide a framework for continuous improvement, ensuring that testing processes are continually evaluated and improved.

2 – Regular Maintenance

Having maintenance on schedule can prevent tank deterioration and fuel contamination. This may involve cleaning tanks and pipes, fuel polishing, and monitoring for leaks.

3 – Visual Inspections

Visual inspections should be conducted regularly, usually on a monthly or quarterly basis, to detect any damage or corrosion on the exterior of the tank, such as rust, dents, or cracks. More comprehensive testing may be required if any problems are found during the inspections.

4 – Automated Testing Technologies

Ultrasonic testing is generally conducted every five years or as required to measure the thickness of the tank walls and identify any thinning or corrosion that may pose a risk of tank failure.

5 – Pressure Testing

Pressure testing is typically performed every ten years or so, or as needed, to check for leaks or weaknesses in the tank’s structure. The tank is pressurized with air or water, and any leaks are identified and repaired.

5 – Leakage Testing

Leakage testing is typically performed regularly, such as monthly or quarterly, to identify any leaks in the tank or associated piping that could lead to fuel spills. Environmental reporting is required to show any significant difference between fuel orders, dispersals, and ending inventories. If any leaks are identified, they must be repaired immediately.

6 – Fuel Quality Testing

Fuel quality testing may be performed regularly to evaluate the fuel being stored and ensure that it meets all applicable standards and is suitable for use. As FuelNews covered in Feb 2023, if you have detected water in your tank, you must fix the problem quickly to avoid expensive repairs.

By implementing these strategies, fuel storage owners can enhance testing rates for tank integrity, minimize the likelihood of accidents or incidents, and guarantee that their fuel storage tanks comply with all applicable regulations and standards.

When conducting tank testing, it is critical to collaborate with qualified professionals to ensure that the testing is carried out safely and precisely.

Mansfield offers a complete lineup of fueling system design, installation, and maintenance services. If you have been contemplating fuel tank installation or maintenance, give our experts a call and let them help you find a solution right for you and your business.

Fuel Futures 3-16-23

This article is part of Daily Market News & Insights

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The information contained herein is derived from sources believed to be reliable; however, this information is not guaranteed as to its accuracy or completeness. Furthermore, no responsibility is assumed for use of this material and no express or implied warranties or guarantees are made. This material and any view or comment expressed herein are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed in any way as an inducement or recommendation to buy or sell products, commodity futures or options contracts.

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