How to Detect Water in Your Fuel Tank

Does your facility use underground storage tanks (UST) to store fuel for backup generators? Do you store fuel underground for your fleet of vehicles? Does your facility use oil for heating? Perhaps your organization’s mandate does not allow power failures to compromise performance, making it a mission critical facility, i.e., backup power generators must be operational and stocked with good fuel in the event of an emergency.

If you identify with any of these scenarios, you are probably very familiar with the issues that may potentially arise with USTs, as well as the many compliance requirements and standards set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).


Keep Water from Entering Tanks

  • Remove standing water, ice and/or snow around tank fill covers.
  • Make sure all tank opening bungs and caps are tight – Inspect and replace any broken gaskets.
  • Keep fill and vapor recovery buckets clean – pump out any water, clean out excess fuel and dirt (don’t depress drain plungers allowing contamination into the tank).
  • Verify tank vents are installed and caps are sealing properly – replace cap or repair as needed.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of low tank volume to minimize tank water from condensation.

Methods of Detecting Contaminants and Water

  • The following will affect the water level measurements: Striker plate below gauging equipment, drop tube tank protection devices, sloping tank, and correct use of water finding paste.

Evidence of Contaminants and Water

  • Clogging/frequent replacements
  • Meter failure
  • Slow flow, especially after new receipts indicates possible contamination
  • Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG) water warnings/alarms
  • Automatic nozzle shutoff failures
  • Customer complaints
  • Observed rust, microbial slime or other contamination
  • Check valves not seating

To learn more about Clean Fuels Associates fuel purification method that saves and refreshes your existing fuel, contact Clean Fuels at 1-800-453-TANK(8265).

Clean Fuels Associates, Inc., is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, a Green Certified Business, and is BBB A+ accredited.