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Who's In Charge of Preventing Watered Down Gas?

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has an Office of Weights and Measures which is responsible for inspecting gas stations and truck stops. Despite that program being in place, however, a recent issue at a Roanoke truck stop called to mind the effectiveness of this state-run department and its overall effectiveness.

Two days before Christmas last year, a family traveling for the holiday encountered a problem with their vehicle after filling up at said truck stop—and so did 13 other drivers who filled up at the same location. Apparently, water had infiltrated the fuel storage tanks at the truck stop and was being pumped into customers’ vehicles, causing this very troublesome occurrence.

Mechanics reported that the fuel tanks of the affected vehicles contained 95% water.

A local news station investigated and discovered that the location in question had not had its tanks inspected since 2014 in spite of the fact that the state office shoots to perform and complete inspections every 18 months. However, they have been averaging two years in between inspections.

Regardless of who is responsible for completing and recording the inspections, the station owner

or the state’s agencies, when a tank is ignored, problems crop up unexpectedly. And in this instance—as well as many, many others—very significant ones.

There are several ways that water can enter a tank—through a bad delivery (quite unlikely) or through a weakness in the tank accesses (most likely). Clean Fuels National recommends that the tank accesses are checked each and every time they are disturbed—after every delivery—to ensure that the cap is seated correctly and that the o-ring is intact and in its proper location.

Additionally, after heavy rains or snow melt, checking accesses for water infiltration is crucial—water left to sitting in any access point is a danger to fuel integrity.

If you are unsure of how often to perform which of these pertinent inspections, Clean Fuels National can assist. We are very familiar with the EPA’s inspection requirements, as well as familiar with the industry’s best practices for tank housekeeping schedules.

Unfortunately, a tank left to its own devices will have trouble sooner or later. So, that said, let us help you maintain an inspection schedule that keeps those troubles from surfacing just as they did at the aforementioned Virginia truck stop.

Has your tank already suffered some level of water infiltration? Give us a call—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will get you back up and pumping fuel with confidence as well as an unjeopardized bottom line.

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