Keeping water out of your fuel storage tanks is a never-ending battle, one that we help our customers fight daily. In 2016 alone, we saved over 2 million gallons of phase separated product – but, we aim to help our customers prevent phase separation before it ever happens. It is often the case that water infiltration of your fuel supply could have been prevented.
For this reason, we created a housekeeping checklist for phase separation prevention. Some companies are only really there for you once disaster strikes. We aim to prevent the disaster to begin with. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.
Daily 1. Visually inspect the fill access spill bucket for water. Water sitting at any tank access point is risky. Water is patient and will find a way in. 2. Check your fill access cap and gasket. Your fill access point especially needs to be checked after a delivery. This cannot be stressed enough. If an access point has been disturbed, it needs to be inspected. If the cap and gasket are not seated correctly, you’re just asking for trouble. 3. Visually inspect your vapor recovery. Don’t give water any easy entrance to your fuel!
Monthly 1. Check monitor access for standing water. If water sits there long enough, it will find a way in. 2. Ensure the cable and cap are correctly seated and secure. Any weakness in the seal will be utilized to allow water entry. 3. Inspect the STP lid. If the lid is damaged, it can allow water in. If the lid isn’t keeping water out, that’s a problem. 4. Check STP sump for water. We’ve seen STPs fully submerged in water. This is bad news and needs to be remedied. 5. Check for missing or damaged vent caps. They’re there for a reason – replace them if they’re damaged or missing. 6. Sample the tank to check for water. Don’t want for trouble to strike outside the tank – get an idea of the conditions inside your storage supply. 7. Sample at the point of sale. What kind of fuel is your customer actually getting? It’s worth taking a look at before complaints start rolling in.
Biannually 1. Visually inspect the shear valve. This is just good housekeeping. 2. Check filters for type. Mistakes happen and this is easily fixed. 3. Perform flow rate tests. This is a good indication of how well your filters are working, and can also indicate potential fuel quality problems.
Vigilance is key. You know the saying “Out of sight, out of mind,” and all too often that is the case when it comes to the fuel inside a storage tank. The customers see a brightly lit canopy, they see a clean restroom, they see friendly and polite employees – but they don’t see your fuel supply and neither do you. It’s just too easy to ignore it until it becomes a problem.
By following this schedule, however, you can be sure you’re doing your due diligence to protect your fuel supply – and in turn, your customers and your reputation.
If you’ve got any questions about your specific fuel supply situation, we’re happy to assist in any way we can. Don’t hesitate to contact us – either through our website, by phone at 260-346-2500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We pride ourselves on being a resource to our customers!