Posted by: jmwilsonmga | September 24, 2013

8 Warning Signs of Underground Storage Tank Equipment Failure

As JM Wilson continues to see more and more opportunities to quote environmental risks, specifically, Underground and Above Ground Storage Tank Pollution Liability, we want to assist you in helping your customers, the insured.

Photo Credit : TopTanx

Photo Credit : TopTanx

As mentioned in my previous blog post, the payout of a claim due to a release from an Underground Storage Tank (UST) can be quite substantial and overwhelming for the insured, not to mention the possible damaging effects it has on the environment.  The below article, from Great American Insurance Group, goes into detail on steps to take and warning signs that your client and/or prospective client can look for when they are using Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel.

This information could help your insured reduce or prevent a loss from occurring, saving them from a potentially painful experience.

“After one full year of ALL tank owners/operators using ultra low sulfur diesel we have had an overall claims increase in diesel related incidents.   Owners tell us they have to replace the filters and clean their tanks more often due to the scaling rust from components and tank walls falling to the tank bottom.  Pump motors and functional element check valves are failing more rapidly in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) tanks than other fuel products, which are what we are called upon to repair.  No one knows what causes it, but it appears to accelerate the deterioration of the tanks and components more rapidly.

Proactive tank management combined with inventory control and reconciliation will help owners/operators to find problems before they become severe and cause a significant release of product into the environment.

Warning signs include:

  1. Rust flakes or what appears to be coffee grounds in the fuel filters near the dispenser
  2. Filters clogging and needing more frequent replacement
  3. Accelerated rusting on seals, gaskets and O-ring equipment in the sump areas
  4. Flex connectors rusting/failing
  5. Equipment becoming unseated due to advanced rusting of the threads
  6. Check value not sealing
  7. Unexplained pump slow-downs experienced by individuals refueling their vehicles
  8. Meter failures

IF you answer “NO” to any of these questions or notice your system is not what it used to be, please contact your testing or pump company to come to your site immediately to do a professional inspection and make repairs before they cause a problem.  Tank removal and replacement may be a consideration if the system is older and in jeopardy of a catastrophic failure.

While there are no known solutions to the increased tank and equipment failures noted at this time, the industry is continuing to research the causes of failures.  Until then tank owners/operators will need to remain vigilant with their tank management programs to help protect the future of their business.

For more information and guidance visit the EPA website:

or: “

Source : TopTanx / Great American Insurance Group

James-ReinckeAbout the Author : James Reincke, Wisconsin Branch Manager

James became a member of the J.M. Wilson Team in 2006 and currently serves as the Wisconsin Branch Manager. He oversees the staff and day-to-day operations of the Wisconsin Branch Office while building strong relationships with agents.  James loves meeting the many different people who his position allows him to work with.  In his free time, James loves bowhunting, fishing, watching football, and most importantly, being the best father he possibly can be to his two children, Gavynn and Madyx.

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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