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Storage Tank Management: How to Manage Condensation

July 31, 2015 | Posted in Fuel Tanks

Condensation is unavoidable during the summer months here in the Mid-Atlantic. Naturally, condensation raises concern over the presence of water in storage tanks.

Water in a storage tank is a problem for several reasons. It can lead to microbial growth and corrosion in the tank, damaging the tank, piping, fuel injection pumps, and other components. Water and microbial growth can also degrade the quality of fuel and cause significant damage to vehicle engines.

So, proper storage tank management is essential in order to manage condensation in the summer months. Learn how to ensure that water isn’t causing problems in your storage tanks, in this week’s blog.

storage tank condensation

Storage Tank Management: How to Manage Condensation

Water buildup in a storage tank is almost inevitable, whether it’s due to condensation or a number of other factors. But letting the days go by and letting the water hold you down is a recipe for disaster. Monitoring for the presence of water in the tank allows operators to know when it has surpassed acceptable levels and remove the water from the bottom of the storage tank.

Monitoring Water Levels in a Storage Tank

  • Tanks can be checked manually with a stick treated with water-finding paste, before and after deliveries.
  • Automatic tank gauging systems (ATG), use sensors that automatically detect the presence of water and alert the operator.
  • Check for water bottoms. Water bottoms occur when water (being heavier than fuel) sinks to the end of a storage tank that has settled to one side. Make sure to check the low end of the tank for a water bottom. A tank should never go more than 6 months without having a water bottom removed.
  • Install water-sensitive fuel filters. If water is present in the tank, the fueling process will slow down.
  • Talk to your fuel supplier about what measures they take to ensure your fuel is delivered without water.
  • Enlist the services of a water removal service/contractor. These contractors can also provide regular storage tank maintenance and cleaning, including treatment of the tank with a biocide that inhibits the growth of microbes as a result of the presence of water.

If you observe warning signs of water or microbial growth in your storage tank, call our Service and Maintenance Division at (301) 317-6000 to schedule a service visit. For any other questions or general information, email us.

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