Protecting Your Storage Tank System from Flooding

Fuel Storage Tank System Image

In the month of July, Minnesota experienced some serious rainfall. So much, in fact, that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued a notice on how to prevent water from entering a storage tank system.

Tips to Prevent Water from Entering Storage Tank System

  1. Ensure tank fill caps are in good condition. Water can easily leak through broken or loose caps, especially those missing the rubber gasket. If the tank fills with enough water, the fuel will not only become contaminated, but can float out of the tank and into the environment. Make sure ATG probe caps and all other access ports are secure.
  2. Secure above ground fuel tanks. Small above ground storage tanks can easily float and tip in flood waters. It may be best to pump out these tanks to prevent spills and contamination, or secure them. Small waste oil tanks or drums stored indoors are also at risk for floating, tipping, and contaminating the building in which they are stored.
  3. Make sure large above ground storage tanks are full. Even large tanks can float away. It is best to keep these filled with product to ensure they stay in place.
  4. Double-check electronic leak monitoring equipment after inundation. If your system is inundated with water, it is important to make sure automatic tank gauges, electronic line leak detectors, and sump sensors are tested once the water recedes to ensure they still function properly.
  5. After inundation, check tank for water. When the flood waters recede enough for you to be able to check your tank storage system, be sure to check the tank for the presence of water using water paste and a gauge stick.

These quick tips do not cover everything there is to know about preventing water from entering fuel storage tanks. To learn more, check out the MPCA’s Fact Sheet.

You can also check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s guide for flood prevention for underground and above ground storage tanks by clicking here.

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