Underground storage tanks at many gas stations are reaching the retirement age. As such, many gas station owners are preparing to replace their old storage tanks.
Another reason why many gas station owners are considering replacing underground storage tank (UST) is because insuring old tanks has become increasingly challenging in recent years. Companies aren’t willing to insure old tanks, especially those approaching 25 years of service life, prompting gas station owners to look for a replacement earlier than expected.
If you’re planning to invest in a new underground storage tank, here are three things you should consider before signing off the purchase order:
Tank construction and shape
Modern-day underground storage tanks mainly come in one of two materials: steel or fiberglass. Both materials have their pros and cons.
- Steel is comparatively stronger than fiberglass. The latter, however, has an edge in terms of corrosion resistance.
- Steel tanks are usually less expensive to install than fiberglass tanks. Additionally, they also require less space for installation. Fiberglass glass tanks, on the other hand, have an edge in terms of lower maintenance cost. They are also easier to have insured compared to steel tanks.
(Note: There are also “jacketed” steel tanks such as ACT-100’s that are a composite covered steel tank from manufacturers such as Highland Tank and Modern Welding to name a few. In some areas of the country, installers prefer these tanks due to ground conditions that make installation of fiberglass more difficult while adding extra corrosion protection over a typical steel tank.)
Water intrusion management
Water intrusion in underground storage tanks remains a huge concern for gas station owners. It can contaminate stored fuel, cause corrosion and leaks in UST system components and increase the risk of product release into the environment.
Thankfully, though, due to the advancements in tank manufacturing technology, tank manufacturers are now designing storage tanks with improved water intrusion management features. Watertight components are being introduced in the market. Protective coatings are becoming more common in tank designs. Support systems designed to neutralize acetic vapors and reduce moisture levels in tanks are also available.
Some states stipulate additional design requirements for underground storage tanks, which gas station owners must be mindful of when investing in a new storage tank. These requirements vary from “compulsory” water intrusion prevention to fuel level monitoring.
Check with your local state authorities if they have any special UST design requirements and choose an underground storage tank that complies with those requirements.
This brings us to the end of our post; we hope you found it helpful.
The John W. Kennedy Company is your trusted underground storage tanks and gas station equipment supplier. We’ve been serving the U.S fuel retail industry since 1930. Visit our online store to learn more about our products and services.