Storing your fuel on-site has many benefits. You can buy fuel in bulk, have easy access to it, and not have to wait for the suppliers to come to your location. In addition to that, you will have a much better idea of how much fuel you are using and how fuel impacts your budget. However, when you are dealing with fuel storage, you must comply with all applicable regulations to install and maintain a fuel tank properly.
Improper maintenance of fuel can cause a lot of problems. Some construction companies go through fuel quickly so that there is no water or bacterial buildup. However, these contaminants can pose a problem for other companies.
If you are looking to set up and maintain on-site fuel tanks, read below and inform yourself.
Reliable tank designs
Above-ground storage tanks are the best choice for construction fleets. They are easy to paint as well as being inspected. They are less likely to leak and can be moved to other locations as necessary.
However, above-ground fuel tanks have some drawbacks. For example, they can be damaged by vehicles backing into them. Above-ground fuel tanks are also vulnerable to vandals, which could damage them or steal your fuel. These tanks are also vulnerable to extreme weather such as flooding and high winds.
There are fuel tanks such as the bladder fuel tank system that allow mobility and impeccable adaptability. This type of fuel tank is perfect for areas that don’t allow for traditional fuel storage methods.
Another option for fuel storage is underground storage tanks. These containers are connected via piping and are used frequently by fleets, municipalities, as well as individuals. These containers are less susceptible to damage than above-ground tanks. Underground storage tanks can leak if they are not properly maintained and this can lead to serious environmental problems. These tanks are subject to strict federal regulations however, those strict rules will help protect both your tanks and the environment.
Learn the laws governing storage tanks
Before you install on-site fuel tanks, be sure to review your local zoning laws and state regulations.
First, a tank that is intended for outdoor use should have an outdoor designation issued by the UL. You can’t store basement storage containers outdoors. If your fuel tank is intended to contain flammable liquids such as gasoline, it must be vaulted, or fire-guarded. This will prevent the fuel from igniting for at least two hours if it is set ablaze.
You will also need a secondary containment that can hold the primary tank’s contents in case it is damaged. Experts recommend that the secondary containment area should be rated to hold at least 125% of the primary tank. The secondary location should have double-walled walls or a dike. Tank refills can pose a spillage risk so limit them to once per month. You should have more tanks if you want your fuel supplier to deliver more frequently.
Monitoring fuel tank contamination
You should be very careful when you open the tank for fueling. When the tank is opened, it will act as a vacuum and collect dust, debris, and dirt. This is the main reason why micron filters should be installed on distribution trucks.
A test kit can be used to test for water in the fuel. You can test for separated water using a variety of tools. Separated water should be removed as soon as possible. To remove contaminants from the tank’s bottom, you can use a PVC pipe with an electric pump. Regular fuel inspections and tests should be part of your preventative maintenance program. This will ensure compliance with all applicable laws, whether federal, state, or local.
Employees who handle fuel tanks must be trained in identifying and avoiding potential hazards. Employees should be trained in the safe operation of the fuel pump, including how to inspect, test, and shut off emergency equipment. They should also be taught how to safely operate the equipment that is associated with fuel tanks, including cleanup procedures, spillage prevention, and safe operation. They should also be involved in the maintenance, review, and inspection of your equipment.
Storing your fuel on-site will allow you to have better control of your fuel usage and you will know exactly how much you are spending on fuel. Be wary of contamination and train your employees to know how to manage all the fuel storage equipment to avoid any unwanted events. Visit the EPA website, to learn more about fuel tank maintenance laws.