4 Common Causes of Underground Storage Tank Leaks

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Underground storage tanks (USTs) are essential for storing petroleum products, such as gasoline and oil, but leaks from these USTs can be potentially hazardous to your environment and create costly cleanup fees that nobody wants to pay. To avoid encountering a UST leak, it’s essential to know what the common causes of them are so that you can be aware of any potential concerns with your UST system.

1.   Quality of Installation

When it comes to UST systems, there is no room for error when it comes to the installation process. Poorly installed tanks can result in corrosion and other damage that may cause a leak. To avoid this issue, make sure you hire experienced installers who will take the time to install your tank according to all applicable regulations properly. Ideally, any UST should be inspected by a qualified professional during and after installation to ensure that everything has been installed correctly and securely, including the underground pipe installation method.

2.   Poor Maintenance

Proper maintenance is essential to ensure that your UST system stays in good condition and continues to operate efficiently over time. Many USTs are equipped with a monitoring system, which you should inspect regularly to identify potential issues and ensure that the system is working correctly.

Regular maintenance should include inspecting the tank for any signs of corrosion or other damage and checking for any leaks in the piping and valves. Reputable underground storage tank removal services can handle every aspect of UST maintenance for maximum reliability and durability. Remember that USTs are often buried underground, so visual inspections may be complex. If you suspect there may be an issue, it’s best to contact a professional for help.

3.   Corrosion

Corrosion is one of the leading causes of UST system failure. Corrosion can occur due to a variety of factors. Water exposure is a common cause of corrosion in USTs, as it can contain minerals and other substances that can react with the tank’s metal and cause it to corrode. Water can create a moist environment that promotes the growth of corrosion-causing bacteria.

Plasma spray coating is also an effective way to protect USTs from corrosion. This process coats the tank with a protective layer that helps prevent corrosion. Finally, it’s crucial to ensure that any piping or exposed parts are coated with a protective material such as paint or epoxy to prevent corrosion. If a UST is left unprotected, it can corrode quickly, resulting in costly repairs and potential contamination of the surrounding environment.

4.   External Factors

External factors can impact the condition of a UST system. For example, changes in temperature or weather conditions can cause the soil around the tank to expand or contract, which can put pressure on the tank and cause it to crack or rupture. Earthquakes and other natural disasters can also cause damage to underground storage tanks. Additionally, if heavy equipment is driven over the tank, this can also cause it to crack or rupture.

It’s important to consider these external factors when deciding on a location for your UST system and ensure that the area is clear of any heavy traffic or potential hazards. Additionally, if you live in an area prone to earthquakes or other natural disasters, taking the necessary precautions to protect your UST system from potential damage is functioning properly.

You can also conduct regular inspections of your UST system to check for any signs of external damage. This includes checking the tank and piping for cracks, leaks, or corrosion. Additionally, ensure that the secondary containment system is in good condition and has not been compromised by changes in soil conditions or other external factors.

It’s vital to ensure that your UST system is regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that it stays in good condition. Regular inspections can help detect potential problems before they become too severe, ensuring the safety of the environment and your wallet. These steps will help ensure that your UST system continues to operate safely and effectively for years to come.

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