Petroleum Storage Tanks
The drawing above shows that the pump,
lines or tanks may have leaks.
know that the Charlotte County Health Department (CCHD) regulates gas
stations, and any other facility that has petroleum tanks (above ground or
below ground) that are greater than 550 gallons?
Now you may ask why?
answer is because CCHD is entrusted to protect our ground water, to make
sure that it is safe for drinking and other household uses. CCHD has a
contract with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to
inspect all petroleum tanks annually and monitor wells throughout the county
for contamination. This inspection usually happens in areas where petroleum
tanks were once stored, or where petroleum spills have occurred.
Recently, I had the pleasure to spend some time with the Environmental
Health Inspector who is responsible for making sure that our ground water
does not become contaminated with petroleum products. During the course of
our time together, we visited one of the largest gas stations in the county,
where hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel are stored. At
this facility, the front end serves cars and light trucks, and the rear
serves tractor trailers and other large vehicles.
Diagram shows the direction the petroleum
can travel into the ground water
inspector takes safety seriously. He first parked a county vehicle in a
strategic position as a physical barrier so that if a driver was not paying
attention while driving, they would hit the vehicle instead of him. All you
have to do is stand there for a few minutes to see how some people rapidly
drive in, fuel up and leave. Once the vehicle was secured and in place, we
put on bright orange safety vests and placed traffic cones out for added
visibility and safety. Then we began to inspect the facility.
component associated with fuel being pumped or stored is inspected. David
removes the lids, some weighing as much as 200 pounds, and inspects
underneath the ground for leaks. He checks the integrity of the lining where
the fuel nozzles connect from the tanker trucks that pump fuel into
underground tanks. He also inspects the underground pumps, which blend and
transfer the fuel, and its containment area. Lastly, David inspects the
pumps, their containment area and hoses that lead to the vehicles.
final onsite inspection was the review of paperwork to make sure that the
gas station was doing routine inspections and correcting identified problems
on their pumps. We then spent time with the station manager going over the
findings in our report.
Corroded tank being removed
entire process took over four hours to perform. David was meticulous in the
inspection, and professional to the station staff and guests. Overall, the
station got a good rating in maintaining its equipment and preventing
spills. There was some fuel which had leaked into containment areas. He
noted that in his report and discussed this issue with the manager,
providing them with written and photographic documentation. This was not a
major issue, and the containment areas did what they were meant to do, but
he was going to recommend that the station fix the leaks and pump out the
safe when we use our ground water is a good feeling, and knowing that there
is a program here in Charlotte County that is working to keep our water safe
is a great feeling! Petroleum tank inspections… another way CCHD assists in
protecting the environment of Charlotte County and your health.
For More Information Click Here:
Bureau of Petroleum Storage Systems
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