If your UST facility has been impacted by a major weather event, such as a hurricane, Superstorm, or flood, there are a number of steps you should consider taking in order to protect your site. These practices will help you minimize the destruction to your site and assist you in safely returning the facility to operation as quickly as possible.
Our technical experts assisted the EPA in the development of a 2010 publication dedicated to the topic of USTs and floods. It is titled Underground Storage Tank Flood Guide. Many of the suggestions below were drawn from this document:
If you have lost power, but no additional storm or flood damage has occurred, manually shut off all UST-related equipment so that they can be brought back up manually once you are confident that you have a stable power source to the facility.
If you have an Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG), it is recommended that once you have brought it back into operation, you run a static test to verify the integrity of the system. If results are questionable, a professional tank tightness test should be performed. If you have secondary containment, verify that the containment is dry and the sensors are in proper position and functioning properly. For brine-filled tank interstitial spaces, verify that the brine level is within tolerance.
First-and-foremost, if the event is still occurring, make sure the power is off to all UST-related equipment. This includes dispensers, pumps, release detection equipment such as an ATG and all other electronic devices.
You should also strive to protect all vent pipes from potential damage by floating debris on the tank pad. A damaged or bent vent pipe can result in water seeping into the tank, which will create multiple additional problems.
Be sure all Submersible Turbine Pumps (STPs) are shut off. Commonly, they will shut down automatically when dispensing has stopped, but you should verify this, as without fuel in the system, the pumps will burn out.
If your site was covered by considerable floodwater, there are many more considerations. Once you have determined that it is safe to return power to the system, consider the following actions:
We have extensive experience in helping our customers to get back in business after a significant weather event. Don't hesitate to call on us if we can help you.
Do you know the new EPA UST Federal Regulations are out? Learn More