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Keeping Water Out of Your UST System

 

Hopefully, winter will loosen its grip and temperatures will return to normal as the most recent forecast would indicate.  As melting has occurred, consumer complaints citing engine trouble from water in their gasoline, gasoline blends, and diesel fuel have increased in frequency.  The increase in consumer related water complaints is likely the result of large stock piles of snow melting and ineffective drainage due to the property size limitations at retail fuel outlets .  Both the Iowa Weights and Measures Bureau and the Iowa DNR UST Section have contacted FUELIowa about the rise in consumer complaints concerning water in motor fuel storage tanks.  As a reminder for FUELIowa members, the regulatory thresholds for water in a retail motor fuel storage tank are as follows:

Gasoline-alcohol blends, biodiesel blends, ethanol flex fuel, AV Gas:  ¼ inch

Gasoline, Diesel, Other Fuels:  1 inch

In addition to water present in delivered product and naturally occurring condensation, water may enter a UST system through grade level access points.  A few common points where water may enter a UST system are spill buckets, fill cap gaskets, drain plugs, fill pipes, and tank sumps.  With warmer temperatures forecasted throughout the upcoming week, FUELIowa members are encouraged to monitor the components listed above for signs of water intrusion.  FUELIowa members should closely monitor ATG readings and manual sticking of the UST system is also highly recommended.  Employing a few preventative measures will go a long way toward preventing your customers from receiving product with a high concentration of water.

Adding to the concerns caused by the melting snow will be the threat of heavy spring rains.  The threat of warm temperatures triggering a rapid snow melt paired with heavy rains, is a cause for flooding concerns.  The Iowa DNR UST Section has resources on their website available to assist owners and operators in preparation for flood events.  Click HERE for the Iowa DNR UST Section emergency flood guidance resources.

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