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  • Benjamin C. Wagner

How Badly Is Microbial Growth Hurting Your Business?


1. Jeopardized tank walls

2. Weakened tank and dispenser components such as pumps, pipes, seals and gauges

3. Formation of bio-film within a tank

Microbially-induced corrosion translates to bad news in many different ways. Fuel tanks and the fuel within them are susceptible to this damage first and foremost by water. One of the easiest ways to protect your fuel supply is to keep water out of your sumps. Water allows for microbial growth, generating bacteria and fungus which feast on, among other things, the inner lining of a tank. And with tank walls compromised, leaks can certainly follow—potentially devastating leaks.

But tank walls aren’t the only areas being attacked by microorganisms: every surface and component of the tank is as well. By attaching to tank pumps, pipes, seals, and gauges, further corrosion is induced and essential parts of a tank ruined. And once ruined, these items either get replaced or dispensers are bagged off and pumps shut down.

Microorganisms are also capable of forming what is called a bio-film. This bio- film—another form of corrosion actually—is incredibly damaging to any surfaces onto which it attaches. On metal pipes and pumps, bio-film secretions bond to any vulnerable surface, producing an acidic waste that not only acidifies the fuel, but also corrodes all metal ancillary equipment as well. Yes, microbially-induced corrosion is a terrible phenomenon. And if left untreated, it can and will completely shut down your site.

Fortunately, Clean Fuels National knows how to combat this microbial destruction. We recommend and can provide treatment with appropriate microbe-killing biocide, knowing full well which biocide will work best in any situation. Further, it isn’t enough to simply kill the microorganisms in the fuel. The fallout from the dead bacteria and the remnants of the bio-film will endlessly clog filters and, therefore, must be removed from the tank. This is why after each biocide treatment we advise an aggressive agitation and thorough filtration of the entire contents of the tank.

But even a single biocide treatment will not guarantee microbial damage will not persist. Clean Fuels National has created a maintenance and housekeeping checklist for our customers, outlining the best practices to keep moisture from causing microbial-induced corrosion in the future. Please contact us at 260-346-2500 and we will be happy to discuss our maintenance, housekeeping schedule with you.


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