Returning to Service After Flooding
Releases are more likely to occur if the proper testing, inspection, and installation requirements aren’t adhered to for a flood-impacted UST system. In most states, owners and operators are required to have a licensed UST professional perform an inspection and/or testing of the system prior to reopening after a flood. Flood waters and the resulting regulatory requirements may have a significant impact on the underground storage tank system. Some indications that the site has been impacted by the flood could include water in the tank, damaged vent lines, or damage to the surface over or around the tank system. If there is water in the tank, it is possible that product may have been displaced and released to the environment.
Below is a list of actions that owners and operators should take to return a UST to service after a flood. This process should only begin once flood water has receded and the local authorities have cleared the area for re-entry.
- Make sure the power is off to any UST-related equipment (such as power to the dispensers, pumps, release detection equipment, and other devices).
- Determine if product leaked from the UST.
- Determine if water or debris entered the UST.
- After inspecting the electrical system, return power to the UST system.
- Check release detection system for proper operation. Perform release detection again, as soon as possible after the flood.
- Check all equipment including pumps, shear valves, fill pipes, and vent lines for proper operation.
- Clean and empty spill buckets and sumps, including those under the dispensers and above the tanks. Inspect the piping and fittings for damage and possible leaks.
- Perform an UST system tightness test to ensure integrity prior to adding product.
- Test spill buckets and sumps to ensure they are tight.
- Test cathodic protection to ensure it is operating properly.