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More Information on the Impacts of Biofuels on UST Systems - UST Training

June 24, 2013

Your UST operator training should have included at least some information and hopefully some advice about dealing with compatibility of biofuels in your UST system because it’s becoming an emerging issue these days. The Alternative Fuels Workgroup of ASTSWMO  (Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials) has just published a report in June 2013 about these impacts and it’s worth the read.

Specially, ASTSWMO recommendations the following for UST owners and operators:

  • Ensure existing UST systems are properly cleaned and free of water before switching to biofuel storage. Biofuels can act as a “cleaning agent” in an UST removing sludge or rust plugs that may have previously prevented a tank from leaking. (Our note: Never switch to bio fuels in an existing UST system without doing your homework first.)
  • Ensure all tank top fillings are tight and will prevent ingress of water into the UST. This includes fill risers and spill buckets, ATG monitoring ports, vapor recovery risers, vent line risers including ball float ports, and bungs on other unused tank openings. Refer to the Steel Tank Institute (STI) publication “Keeping Water Out of Your Storage System”. (Our note: Another reason for an annual system checkup by a certified contractor.)
  • Maintain compatibility records for the life of the equipment or component for all new or replaced equipment and for UST systems storing biofuel blends. (Our note: great idea to add to your record keeping system.)
  • Avoid components made from zinc, brass, lead, aluminum, or other soft metals. (Note: easier said than done for drop tubes, line leak detectors, etc.)

Download the full report here.


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