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The Need for Fuel Quality Testing

An Ohio gas station was shut down late last month due to concerns over fuel quality. Multiple customers were facing engine damage and costly repair bills after filling up at the station in question.

In 2008, lawmakers unanimously decided that the Ohio Department of Agriculture would be responsible for uniform fuel quality testing across the state, however the program never received sufficient funding and, therefore, a statewide fuel testing program never materialized.

Unfortunately for the Ohio customers who purchased the affected fuel, the required tests had only checked how MUCH fuel was in the tank, rather than the quality of the fuel stored within it.

As motorists’ cars began to die, thus leading to the tanks finally being inspected, water was discovered not to mention an additional three feet of sludge sitting in the bottom of the tanks.

Thankfully, the water and sediment can be removed and the stored fuel can be saved. The station can reopen for business as usual. But it is always more costly to fix a problem than it is to prevent it—just ask the station owners who were on the hook for fixing the customers’ malfunctioning automobiles. The fact is that it really remains up to gas station owners to check the quality of their own fuel.

It is literally impossible to gauge the health of an underground storage system by simply looking at the station’s canopy – to get a realistic picture of what’s in a fuel tank, one must sample the fuel inside it. All components of the system should and must be checked. This might be easy if an owner has only one or even a handful of sites to monitor. The more stations that are owned, however, the harder it becomes to keep track of the health of all systems across one’s entire footprint. That’s where Fuel Quality Testing comes in.

Fuel Quality Testing (FQT) crews travel from state to state, inspecting the stored fuel at gas stations throughout the country. FQT technicians are trained to check filters, flow-rates, equipment condition, you name it. FQT provides boots-on-the-ground insights into every tank, at every station. Ethanol content, octane analysis, sump/well inspection, even biocide distribution. The inspection schedules offered by FQT are fully customized to a site’s unique needs and can be as broad or as focused as the business requires.

If you are unsure as to the quality of fuel within your storage tanks; if you have questions about the program offerings of the Fuel Quality Testing’s teams; or if you fear you may face potentially similar outcomes that are plaguing the affected station in Ohio, give Clean Fuels National a call. We will be sure any and all of your questions are both answered and resolved…not to mention some much-needed peace of mind restored.

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