News & Updates

Innovative Fuel Storage Solution

by Deborah Ulbrick, VP Sales, Core Engineered Solutions

The Challenge

When fuel storage is needed, but neither an aboveground or an underground tank is suitable due to site issues like the following:

  • Space – Proximity to utilities or buildings; same space is needed for parking or pedestrian walkways
  • Environmental protection – The soil and groundwater need to be protected; proximity to wells or aquifers
  • Safety – Risk of corrosion; risk of earthquake activity
  • Aesthetics – A green space is preferable to a fuel tank
  • Cost – Leakage liability insurance
  • Onerous code/regulatory compliance

The Solution

The UL listed SafeSite Fuel Vault Storage System can solve these challenges. This underground system is comprised of a steel fuel tank enclosed in a seamless vault. Fuel is safely contained and water is sealed out. Because the fuel tank is located within a vault that allows for easy access and visual inspection, the system is classified by the EPA as an aboveground storage tank.

Representative SafeSite Fuel Vault Installations

  • Security and spaceFEMA Logistics Center in VA supports first responders with equipment needed to manage emergency situations. In addition to space limitations, they required maximimum security for their emergency power and boiler fueling tanks.
  • Aesthetics and space – A prestigious universitiy in the Midwest needed a fuel tank in front of a stadium where aesthetics was a concern. Additionally, there was a need for parking in the same area.
  • Safety and space – At another university, pedestrian access was needed in the same space as a fuel tank. The SafeSite Fuel Vault provided safe underground fuel storage with no obstruction to the pedestrian walkway.
  • Environmental protectionTurkey Hill’s newest convenience store location was in danger of being abandoned. Blasts from a nearby quarry and close proximity to a protected watershed caused enough concern that local officials would not allow fiberglass underground tanks. The SafeSite Fuel Vault system allowed Turkey Hill to complete the construction of the store without compromising the township or it’s surrounding watershed.
  • Safety, environmental protection, and spaceNovartis Institute required a unique solution to run their emergency power systems. The institute is located within blocks of a railroad and an open waterway preventing the use of an underground storage tank. Space limitations and public safety concerns caused city officials to ban the use of an aboveground tank.
News & Updates

Inspecting your ConVault Tank after a Flood

By John Ekhtiar, VP Engineering, Convault, Inc.,
with Jeanne Murphy Murck, VP Operations, Core Engineered Solutions

Flooding of fuel storage systems can pose a serious threat to the environment. Here’s how to check your ConVault tank after a flood.

Did the Tank Float?

Some aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) will float even if they are full. ConVault tanks are heavy and resist the floatation forces. ConVault ASTs up to 2,000 gallons will not float—even if empty. Larger ConVault tanks will not float if anchored and half full of fuel.

If the tank floated, was it anchored with restraints to hold it down? Without restraints, the tank can be lifted and carried by the floodwater. Add restraints to prevent future problems. See Flooding Problems of Fuel Storage Tanks.

Did the Tank get Flooded?

ASTs pose the potential danger of emitting fuel in the floodwaters through their emergency and normal vents when floodwater replaces the fuel in the AST. The tainted floodwater can potentially pollute the soil and the drinking waters of neighboring communities.

  • Did the water go over the normal vent?
  • Did water go inside the tank through the normal vent?
  • Was the emergency vent water-tight? If not, replace the gasket

If water went inside the primary tank, measure the water height inside the tank and pump it out. If the water completely fills the tank, it can cause petroleum product to be pushed outside the tank and cause potential contamination problems. The inside of the tank may need to be cleaned to prevent accelerated corrosion from salt water especially. That is why it is essential to pre-plan installation of the tank in a flood prone area. For more information, see Flooding Problems of Fuel Storage Tanks.

Did Water Penetrate in the Secondary Containment?

Check the secondary containment for water. If water is present, determine the source. For example, was the leak detector tube open? Was the cap on the leak detector tube not water tight? Inspect the vault for any damage that could allow water to enter the tank system. See ConVault Repair and Repaint Guidelines.

References for more Information