If you owned a petrol station which stored petrol & diesel products via underground tanks, you are probably concerned about tank leaks. Underground tank leaks can lead to serious environmental pollution causing hazardous to people, animals, property, and the plants nearby. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for absolute certainty if you have a leak unless the tank is dug out for inspection. Fortunately, there are certain signs that indicate if a leak has happened, as well as equipment that help in detecting leaks.
Signs when a leak happened.
Plant life nearby are dying
If plants nearby started to die suddenly in rapid speed, it is most probably caused by leaking petrol or diesel polluting the soil. When such cases happen, it is best to take immediate action to arrange further inspection.
Rainbow colour water puddle
Another sign to pay attention to is the appearance of an oil-slick ring (rainbow colour) on puddled water nearby. As when water mixes with petrol or diesel, such color combinations will show.
Equipment to detect tank leakage
Automatic Tank Gauging System
Automatic tank gauge commonly known as ATG is an electronic device, which function is to indicate fuel level & monitor the fuel level in the tank over a period of time to see if the tank is leaking. Certain models of ATG can also perform other functions such as monitor tank temperature and giving warning when fuel is about to deplete.
While relying on ATG can be a very convenient way to detect for any leaks, operators are recommended to counter check ATG’s reading compared to reading from the tank’s dipstick from time to time.
Interstitial Monitoring (applied to Double Wall Tanks)
Interstitial monitoring system requires an underground tank to have a secondary containment outside of the primary containment. The secondary containment is mostly built by jacketing a layer of FRP (fibre-reinforced plastic) on the exterior of the primary steel tank.
These types of tanks provide an interstitial space which holds the leak when the primary tank is leaking. An interstitial monitoring system detects leakage from the tank via sensor which is installed within interstitial space. The system will give warning if any leakage happens from the primary tank or the jacketed FRP wall.
If any signs of leakage were noticed, do call expert for investigation. Replace tank if leakage is found to ensure safe operation of station.
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