Here's how to reopen damaged service stations
Oct 1, 2005 12:00 PM
HURRICANES Katrina and Rita damaged scores of C-stores, truck stops, and fleet fueling locations along the Gulf Coast. The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued the following recommendations for restoring underground storage tank operations and reopening facilities that were affected by hurricane-related flooding.
This is not intended to be a definitive checklist. In general, after severe flooding, consideration should be given to doing a system test similar to a test done for a new installation. All suggestions may not necessarily be applicable to every station or situation and therefore may not be required.
Check all electrical panels and make sure they are clean and dry.
Check electrical system for continuity and shorts (pumps, turbines, dispensers, emergency shutoff, panel box, etc).
Eliminate water in dispenser sumps, pans, tank sumps, etc. Tank sump water should be removed by an authorized and/or state-licensed waste hauler to be taken to an appropriate treatment facility.
Check monitoring wells for contamination.
Handle hazardous waste according to the law (gasoline-contaminated water or water-contaminated gasoline).
Check tank bottoms for water and debris due to surface infiltration. Stick tank or read automatic tank gauge system to determine whether water has entered the UST. If using ethanol as an oxygenate in your fuels, determine whether an ETOH phase-shift has occurred (use an ethanol-water detecting paste). If water is in the tank and ethanol is not an oxygenate, have the water pumped from your UST by a licensed and approved waste hauler to be taken to an appropriate treatment facility. If ethanol is used as an oxygenate and a phase-shift has occurred, which could happen with 5-6 inches of water, consider pumping the UST completely. Again have the water pumped from your UST by a licensed and approved waste hauler to be taken to an appropriate treatment facility.
Tightness testing of tanks. Use electronic leak detection system 0.1 gph test if available. Tanks with brine or vacuum interstitial sensors may be returned to service if brine or vacuum levels are normal.
Check deflection of fiberglass tanks. If deflection is greater than manufacturer's specification (the general guideline is 2%), call the manufacturer for instruction.
If tanks shifted and problems are found, repair them according to manufacturer's instructions and appropriate industry standards (API 1615 and NFPA 30 and 30A) and regulations (40 CFR 280).
Check vent and vapor lines (Stage II) for movement and cracking.
Check vents for blockage and proper operation.
Check pressure transducers on product line leak detectors (ensure no water infiltration).
Tightness testing of piping — Use electronic line leak detection 0.1 gph test if available.
Check cathodic protection system to ensure it is connected and operational.
Check with vendors for recommendations on proving equipment.
Inspect dispenser electronics for evidence of water intrusion. Use dispenser manufacturer dryout procedures prior to energizing dispensers.
Check dispenser filters and submersible check-valve screens for plugging with dirt or mud.
Flush dispensers and all UST systems
Check all Stage II vapor recovery system equipment, if present (eg, filters, screens for the presence of dirt, mud).
Check critical safety devices (eg, emergency power-off controls, line leak detectors, air compressor pressure limiters, shear valves, stop switches, isolation relays on dispensers).
Provide new tank calibration charts and, where appropriate, tank gauge programming.
Clear all stormwater drains of debris
Notify authorities as appropriate.
Receive new product until system integrity is proven.
Assume everything is OK because water didn't actually flood over the station. The water table could have risen and caused problems.
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