Preparing for Flooding
Spring has sprung! For many regions of the U.S., that means heavy rain and potential flooding. It is important to keep an eye on the current and predicted to weather conditions so that you know when and how to respond. Failing to properly prepare for inclement weather, particularly a flood, could end up costing you a lot more than a soggy basement if you own or operate an underground storage tank system.
If your UST system is in danger of being flooded, below are the steps recommended by the USEPA to prevent water from entering the system or displacing the UST.
- Fill the tank with product to weigh it down. Empty or early empty tanks have been known to float up during flooding, destroying the concrete or asphalt above and disrupting product delivery lines. A release is much more likely to occur if this happens.
- If able, place sand bags, a dumpster, or large containers full of sand or rock over the tanks location. This will also help weigh the tank down in case of floating.
- Check that the seals on the spill bucket plungers are working properly.
- Cap off vent pipes temporarily.
- Record product inventory and water levels of all tanks to account for potential product loss.
- Turn off all electricity to the UST system. This could include power to dispensers, pumps, turbines, ATG consoles, canopy lighting, or any other system components.
- Check that all tank top openings are secured and sealed, including fill caps.
Remember that as an owner or operator, your first priority, aside from your personal safety, should be your investment and the environment. There is no way to plan for every possible threat that could occur during a flood, but following these recommendations will go a long way in saving your site.