June 15, 2020

Above Ground Fuel Tanks – Maintenance, Water, and Contaminants

June 15, 2020

Above Ground Fuel Tanks – Maintenance, Water, and Contaminants

Above Ground Fuel Tanks are a convenient, time-saving solution to keeping fuel at your facility or on your job site. There are maintenance issues that need to be considered when you own a tank. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to deal with water, rust, dirt, bacteria, and algae. It all starts with water, and it doesn’t belong in your fuel!

  • Condensation is very common
  • Damaged Fuel Caps or Vents
  • Plugs that don’t fit well or are PVC, not metal
  • Low-grade fuel from your fuel provider


A regular inspection schedule is key to maintaining your tanks. Check out this document for specific instructions and considerations. Assign a responsible member of your team to perform an inspection on a regular basis and document the results, addressing issues along the way. It starts with an outside visual inspection. You’re looking for the obvious signs of damage to your tank or corrosion. Either left unchecked could lead to serious issues down the road. These issues could be minor headaches like contamination or even more serious issues like leaks that contaminate the soil and water. Both lead to big money issues that nobody wants to deal with.



Look for areas where water could enter your tank. This would likely be open bung holes, damaged fill caps, damaged vents, damaged plugs, damaged seals, inadequate plugs, improper vents, etc. If you see issues, fix them immediately! Now, look for damage to your tank that could have come from a vehicle or something coming in contact with your tank. Look closely for signs of leaking, especially around the seams of the tank or damaged areas. You’re looking for wet, dirty, oily areas either on your tank, in your containment pan, or, even worse, on the ground. The plumbing to your fuel pump or pump deck is a very common source of leaking. Look at the joints closely for signs of seepage. Now, inspect your fuel hose. Is it cracking or showing signs of wear? Do you have a fuel hose breakaway installed? Does your fuel nozzle have an automatic shutoff?


You should always take time to review federal, state, county, and city requirements. Are you following these requirements? Take a look at your containment pan. Is it adequate to contain the entire volume of the tank plus overhead? Look for damage to the containment pan as well. Is the drain plug in place? Is there excessive water or fuel in the containment pan? Diesel fuel will sit on top of the water, making it look worse than it really is if your containment pan is open and exposed to the elements. Inspect your fuel spill containment box for damage or water. If there’s water in this box, do not drain it back into the tank. Dispose of it properly


Check to be sure that you have an anti-siphon valve installed and an emergency shutoff ball cock valve and that both are working properly. This is extremely important if your pump is not sitting on top of your tank. A leak that develops in your fuel pump plumbing below your fuel level will create a siphoning effect and will drain your tank. This is a huge mess and an environmental nightmare. This is especially bad if you are using a double-wall tank without a containment pan. It’s always a good idea to shut off the fuel supply by closing the ball cock valve when unattended. For more fuel safety precautions, check out our blog here, which goes over the topic extensively.


Now, let’s determine if there’s water in your tank. Water in your above-ground fuel tanks creates the ideal environment for algae and microorganisms to grow and thrive. That’s no good for fuel. The best way to determine if there’s water in your fuel is to install an automatic tank gauging system. For farm or smaller job site fuel storage tanks, you can manually test your fuel with a fuel-compatible water paste on a gauge stick. You can find this paste at most Farm Supply stores.

REMEMBER: water will be sitting below the diesel at the bottom of your bulk fuel tank. If you find that there is water in your tank, you may find a black, slimy sludge at the bottom of your tank that can cause clogged fuel pumps and filters. There are additives that will help with water and algae if you treat your fuel regularly. If the situation has gotten bad, the only real way to solve this problem is to drain and clean the tank. There are professional service providers that can do this job for you onsite.
Talk to your fuel delivery supplier about measures they take to ensure you’re getting clean, water-free fuel and what ongoing testing programs they may have to help you. Working with the most qualified fuel delivery company is important.
Finally, install a good water separator and fuel filter in line after your fuel pump. This will ensure that the diesel or gasoline is filtered and water-free before entering your sensitive equipment. This filter should be changed during your inspection intervals. By implementing these maintenance measures to maintain your bulk fuel tank, you are ensuring the maximum efficiency and life of your bulk fuel tank for years to come. Making sure the tank is working when you need it adds up to efficiency and dollars to the bottom line.

Stop Paying Retail At The Pump– Let Us Fuel Your Above Ground Fuel Tanks

We operate 24/7/365 because we understand mobile fuel delivery needs can come at any time!

Benefits of Mobile Fuel Delivery

Our mobile fuel team will provide you a custom solution based on your day to day business needs. We will partner with you and help provide you with the best long-term solution, whether you have a fleet of trucks or trailers or just need job site fuel. Our product offerings vary from Diesel (clear or dyed) Unleaded, and DEF.

  • Labor Savings
  • Less Time Wasted at Fuel Stations
  • Limit Your Liabilities
  • Control Your Fuel Spending
  • We Accept Fleet Cards
  • Comprehensive Reporting
  • Improved Productivity

Fuel Logic provides you with a wide range of mobile fuel solutions direct to your equipment. Whenever you need and wherever you need, we’ve got you covered. Schedule fuel online now.

Order fuel in 5 minutes. 
It’s simple and easy to order.

Schedule your order now

bulk fuel delivery
Service locations >
350 Hawkins Run rd.
suite 100, Midlothian, Texas, 76065
Fuel Logic LLC, Fuel, Midlothian, TX
Need fuel delivered to your fleet or yard?
From Washington DC to Houston TX to Seattle WA, Fuel Logic serves many locations nationwide, check if your location is covered!
Copyright 2020 Fuel Logic. All rights reserved. Review us on bbb.org