All fuel storage tanks run the risk of failing eventually, due to microbial influenced corrosion (MIC). The process of refining fuel can sterilize those fuels, but even clean fuels will eventually become contaminated after leaving the refinery, and those contaminants can come from just about any number of sources.
For example, microbes might enter the fuel during the distribution and delivery processes. They might also come in through ground water, or even through the atmosphere as they seep through the tank vents. Bacteria in and of itself is not necessarily a serious issue, but can become one when it finds a way to colonize in a fuel-water setting.
Eventually, these bacteria microbes will start to metabolize, and if they are left untreated and unresolved, will continue to grow inside a tank to the point where MIC will develop, causing the tank to corrode and fail. This is a potential issue for both gasoline and diesel fiberglass and steel storage tanks.
Fortunately, good tank operating practices and storage tank maintenance in Colorado can prevent internal corrosion from reaching the point where it causes the tank to fail. Here are a few tank maintenance tips to keep in mind to prevent these issues from occurring:
- No water: Keep water away from your oil storage tanks as much as possible. If you do come across water, it is important to find and eliminate the source as soon as possible. You should never let surface water pond on top of tanks that are buried underground, so setting up natural water runoff processes can help greatly.
- Actively look for water: In addition to keeping water away, you should never simply rely on your tank gauge to check for the presence of water. Automatic tank gauge probes are only designed to detect water that is two inches or higher. You should be proactive about looking for water that measures below that amount.
- Regular inspections: You should routinely inspect all fill and probe caps to ensure they are tightly in place. Check gaskets on these caps at least once a year and replace them when necessary.
- Collect samples: Collect fuel samples from the bottom of the tanks and let those samples settle in clear glass jars. This will allow for better visual evaluation of the quality of the fuel. If those samples appear to contain contaminants, engage in more thorough testing for live bacteria. If the test ends up being positive, treat the entire tank with a biocide that is graded for use on motor fuels. If tanks are contaminated with bottom water, sludge and sediment, you should arrange for a tank cleaning.
- Monitoring: Always implement constant leak detection and inventory management for all tanks you have operating.
These are just a few tips that can help you achieve better storage tank maintenance in Colorado. For more information about high-quality tank maintenance or to schedule an appointment for tank cleaning or repair, we encourage you to contact our trusted technicians today for assistance.
Categorised in: Storage Tank Maintenance
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