Hartlepool Borough Council

Petroleum Filling Stations

Tank and Line Testing

  • Page 7 of 11

Until 1996 it was normal to have both underground storage tanks and pipelines tested periodically. These periods were on installation, after 20 years, 25 years, 30 years and every 2 years thereafter.

The common practice now is to install Double Skin Steel Tanks and a pipe work system that either has secondary containment or twin walled that in each case, further reduces the risk of a leak and contamination.

Since 1996, there has been an increase in electronic gauging and monitoring for fuel leaks that are continuously measuring the contents and condition of the underground installation itself. Should a failure occur, both an audible and visual alarm will operate in the 'Back of Office' and in the majority of cases, automatically shuts the affected part of the installation down.

Sites having continuous monitoring will only be asked to test their tanks and pipelines if a leak is suspected, PROVIDED the Electronic Gauging System is maintained on a regular basis.

Single Steel Tanks and Pipelines

In the case of these types of installations, periodic testing will continue in the absence of more modern containment systems and continuous monitoring. Furthermore, any site that has a history of outflows and leaks will be subject to periodic testing, irrespective of the kind of installation.

Test Specialists

There are a number of specialist companies that can undertake test methods and details of these can be supplied on request. Only those companies that have a proven track record within the industry will be accepted.


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