AST Emergency back-up and mission critical fueling systems- Case Study

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Courtesy of Tanknology Inc.

The Challenge

This Tanknology client is a large operator of hospitals and healthcare facilities, spanning multiple states. They operate more than 200 fuel storage tanks, roughly 75 percent aboveground and 25 percent underground. The tanks are specifically for back-up power generation. The company is in acquisition mode, with new facilities periodically added to their portfolio.

Backup generator tanks pose a unique challenge to an operator. They are not ‘core assets’ to the business, but rather provide a necessary back-up system to keep operations running in the event of a power failure. As such, even though they are critical when they are required, they don’t tend to receive the same level of regular attention as tanks that are more central to the mission of the company. A natural consequence of this reality can be an ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ approach to managing them.

But these tank systems require routine inspections and maintenance, as well as periodic verification of fuel quality in order to ensure that the facility does not have a system failure in the critical moment they are needed.

In the case of this client we found a circumstance which seems to typify other back-up generator situations – compliance was spotty from one location to another and in some cases the company wasn’t sure what they had in place and therefore whether they were in compliance.

The Solution

In the first phase of work, Tanknology helped this client identify exactly what they have in place at their various facilities. This consisted of an inventory of existing tank systems in each of their locations, combined with a compliance audit.

In some cases, SPCC plans were already in place, so facilities were audited to compliance with those plans. In others, information was gathered for analysis and ultimate inclusion in a SPCC plan to be developed.

Tanknology then developed a customized SP-001 inspection program to bring all AST facilities into compliance with the requisite federal, state and local regulations.

As this customer operates facilities in multiple states across a large regional area, Tanknology’s nationwide presence facilitated an efficient and cost-effective approach to helping the customer understand exactly what they have, and help them ensure total compliance across their system in as short a time as possible. Tanknology’s services at this client’s sites included inspections covering these aspects of their sites:

  • Condition of the containment structure
  • Proper operation of corrosion protection system
  • No water present in the tank, secondary containment, interstice or spill container
  • Liquid level and overfill system is operational
  • Drain valves operable and in closed position
  • Roof in good condition
  • Vents operable and free of obstruction
  • Insulation in good condition
  • Electrical conditions are normal
  • Proper documentation of all inspections is available at the site along with a copy of the facility SPCC plan
  • And more, as required.

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