Gas Stations – Three Big Problems – Three Easy Solutions

By August 1, 2013 Tips

We are all busier than a cross eyed dog with a Frisbee here at NES this summer.  Our staff is working long hours on a range of fuel related issues.  The summer travel season increases traffic at gas stations too and more power to you!

In the midst of all this activity, I hope you will take a moment to review the basics so that you can avoid maintenance issues later.  

The three most common fuel storage problems:

       1.  Water 

Less than one half of one percent water in fuel can result in lowering the octane level in fuel by up to 3 points.   The worst outcome is having engine damage result from the fuel being pumped into a customer’s tank.   

       2.  Sediment

Did you know that ethanol is an absorbent?  Water and dirt cling to it.   Filters at the pump catch larger particles of sediment before they enter a vehicle’s tank, but smaller particles and water that get through can keep combustion engines from running smoothly and damage engine parts.

      3.  Microbes

 Bacteria survive and flourish in fuel tanks due to the presence of water. Water creates a favorable interface with fuel, giving bacteria a reliable food source and a good environment to grow and multiply. Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria thrive under these fuel tank conditions. Undetected and untreated bacterial growth in fuel systems leads to fuel quality degradation and fuel system corrosion in your storage tank.


The Three best moves you can make to avoid fuel tank problems:

  1. Keep catch basins free of water
  2. Test the fuel for microbiological growth
  3. Closely monitor the amount of water sitting in the bottom of the tank

Keep life simple.  Avoid costly fuel contamination through proactive maintenance.  Northwest Environment Service is your partner in this process.  A clean tank is less costly to your wallet and reputation than a customer’s damaged machinery!

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