Top 3 Reasons to Decommission Your Old Underground Fuel Storage Tanks
Have you got old-fashioned, single-walled underground storage tanks on your site?
Perhaps you don’t need them anymore and you figure you can just forget about them. Maybe you want to upgrade to a new system without having to worry about getting rid of the old stuff. So, you might think to yourself, “Why do I need to decommission underground storage tanks anyway?”. Whether you’re still using fuel storage tanks on your site or not, there are some very important reasons to have the old ones decommissioned by professionals.
1. You Can Cop a Nasty Fine
Old underground steel tanks are notorious for leaking. If you’re found to have an underground fuel leak at your site, you might be looking at costly fines or legal action resulting from environmental issues. Under Australian regulations, it is against the law to allow or ignore leaking or faulty underground fuel storage systems. Not only that, you’re required by law to have a system for detecting and monitoring leaks, groundwater monitoring wells at sensitive locations and a program to test them, an Environmental Protection Plan and thorough, accurate systems in place for record keeping, reporting of leaks and notifying the local council when an underground storage system is decommissioned. Lack any of these elements and penalties can be worse.
2. They Can Be Dangerous
Underground fuel petrol storage system leaks are responsible for dangerous environmental contamination. Australia’s soils and waterways are vital resources, important for the farming industry and the general health and safety of our local communities. To make matters worse, a lot of modern fuel blends are more corrosive to the old steel tanks than they are modern tanks. That means they’re dangerously prone to leaking after 20 or more years. Should your underground fuel storage systems be found to be leaking, you are required by law to conduct remediation, which adds further cost to fines and professional decommissioning works.
3. New Tanks are Far Superior
A lot of fuel retailers, local councils, and industries have already rushed to decommission old systems before detecting leaks. The reason for their pre-emptive strategies? Aside from avoiding costly fines and remediation works, new tanks are leagues ahead of the old ones in design and function. New underground double wall fibreglass tanks don’t corrode, and they have a 30-year lifetime warranty. These tanks not only comply with current environmental regulations, they reduce the risk of leaks. Replacing old steel tanks with new and improved tanks can also be a chance to relocate them to a better underground area, or if space permits, position them above ground. Most retail sites won’t have the room for this, as due to AS1940 regulations you require significant separation distances from buildings and property boundaries with above ground fuel storage. If your site permits, opting for above instead of underground systems makes for easier to monitor and maintain and replace systems and parts. You can catch any leak or issue earlier, fix them sooner and avoid contamination all without having to engage an excavator on top of your fuel tank repair professionals.
If you need to upgrade a site with redundant fuel tanks, talk to the team at Nqpetro. We’re experienced specialists in tank decommissioning and the removal of underground fuel storage tanks Australia-wide.