Best Equipment to Clean Underground Fuel Storage Tanks

The proper maintenance of a fuel storage facility requires that fungi and bacteria be prevented from growing in the gasoline‐water interface, which cause filter problems and deactivates its water monitoring system. Most problems are easily avoided by having the fuel storage system as clean and as free of water as possible, because the presence of water enhances fuel degradation.


To assure proper vehicle performance, water and microbes must be avoided, also because these increase sludge accumulation at the tank bottom. Contaminants, including the presence of salt in the water, can cause fuel chemical structure degradation and have a detrimental effect on storage system components. Such contaminants can also cause certain fuel additives to be separated from the fuel, and merge with the water. This is harmful because these additives maintain fuel distribution system quality.

Water is already a problem by itself, but in addition, it also serves as the environment where microorganisms can grow and proliferate. Even a fourth of an inch of water is already enough to promote the growth of microbes. They feed on fuel and live in the fuel‐water interface. Their presence can cause filter‐plugging, problems with the injectors and pumps, water monitor deactivation, and microbial buildup inside the tank, which is expensive to remove.

Issues in the fuel system include frequent replacing of hoses, rubber seals, and valves; rotten‐egg odors coming from the fuel or the fuel filter; plugging of fuel lines, and erratic gauge readings. Solid and semi‐solid contaminants, water, microorganisms, and other fuel quality problems such as fuel degradation and the presence of a high amount of paraffin, are the common causes of blockages in the fuel filter. When underground fuel storage tanks contain foreign substances and moisture, this has a negative impact on the fuel quality. Contaminants include sediments, rust, and bacteria, which clog the filter and cause serious problems. Fuel contamination dramatically reduces pump dispensing rates and eats away at the steel tanks and its metal components.

Certain management practices can effectively monitor the fuel system and fuel quality and minimize issues. For instance, a 5-u filter installed on the fuel dispenser ensures that the fuel will be free from suspended particulates. Also, if the storage tank has an issue with water accumulation, then using a 5-u water absorption filter may solve the problem.

Microbial contamination may be mitigated by routine water removal and surveillance aimed at detecting and removing microbes. Biocides are useful, and treatment must be followed by tank cleaning. Professional contractors can conduct periodic examination and maintenance. They also have the best equipment for the periodic cleaning of underground fuel storage tanks. They alone can determine cleaning frequency, which is based on fuel contamination levels; rate of fuel consumption and refilling; and other relevant factors. Tank cleaning is also warranted if there is sludge or metallic material at the tank bottom.

The contractor may conduct close monitoring and recommend the use of the best equipment for cleaning the tank. Converting a tank for a different fuel type will require cleaning, without which loosening of deposited debris and sludge may occur, reducing fuel flow and plugging filters and screens.

The best equipment for cleaning fuel storage tanks may involve filtration systems as well as high velocity pumps for thorough cleaning and filtering. Let Enrique Freyre, the industry leader for tank cleaning equipment, help you in determining how to clean your underground storage tanks and choose the best equipment for it. Feel free to inquire now and expect high quality tank cleaning equipment as well as excellent service.

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