Round Two: Getting Spill Buckets and Overfill Prevention Tested Again

Written by: Brian Pottebaum, Director of Training Services

Most convenience stores receive a fuel delivery around 1 to 3 times per week in at least one of their storage tanks. There are several factors that play into how often the tanks are filled, but ultimately there are hazards that exist with every delivery.

Following safety procedures and regulations is essential during delivery. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility placed on the delivery person; from parking on the lot and making good liquid tight connections to ensuring that all the fuel goes into the tank smoothly. Fuel can spill, however, which is why the UST regulations require spill and overfill prevention devices to be installed on regulated fuel tanks. The delivery area is a very busy place with plenty of distractions, so we must do our part to make sure the fuel delivery can happen without the unnecessary risks.

The facility operator must ensure that all spill and overfill prevention equipment is installed and properly maintained. Every 30 days this equipment is checked during a walkthrough inspection. If there is any liquid observed in the spill bucket or any of the spill or overfill components appear compromised, the situation must be corrected as soon as possible. In addition to periodic walkthrough inspections, these devises are also required to have a “functionality” test conducted every three years. This is to ensure that in the event of a potential fuel spill or overfill, the dangerous situation can be avoided because the equipment worked as it was designed.

October 13, 2021 was the deadline for all existing UST systems in Iowa to have the spill prevention equipment (i.e. spill buckets) as well as overfill prevention equipment (i.e. fill pipe shutoff valves, ball float (vent) valves, or overfill alarms) tested for proper installation and operation. This required visual inspection, measurement, and functionality testing of the individual components. Once the component successfully passed the functionality test or was replaced with a new device, the cycle started for the next three year functionality test. That’s right, every three years these components need to be tested. With new installations, these components are required to be tested prior to operation and then every three years thereafter just like the older systems.

Because many of the UST facilities tested these devices during the year 2021, they are quickly approaching the deadline for the next functionality tests which will be due in 2024 accordingly. If you are unsure if this was performed on your system, or if you know that it needs to be done again soon, it is a good idea to contact your service provider to make sure you are on the schedule for your next tests.

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