Leighton O’Brien, a market leader in fuel analytics software and field technologies, has launched a national groundwater monitoring service to assist retail fuel operators to meet their compliance obligations and reduce the risk of groundwater contamination.

The new service offering follows a recent EPA survey on Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) practices which found many fuel operators did not know if their site was compliant with groundwater monitoring guidelines.

Leighton O’Brien General Manager of Field Services, Toby Griffin, said site owners were exposing their business to huge commercial and environmental risk if they weren’t aware of their obligations.

“Groundwater contamination resulting from leaking fuel tanks, delivery or dispensing spills poses a huge risk for underground fuel tank operators, especially if the pollution goes beyond their own site.

“As well as mandatory leak detection systems like SIRA, under NSW regulations you must have groundwater monitoring wells installed and monitored every six months. In Victoria, you’re required to undertake groundwater monitoring if you have a sensitive site.

“But any responsible site operator sitting on thousands of litres of fuel underground should know the potential for groundwater contamination both on their site and neighbouring properties which opens up huge liability concerns.

Reducing or eliminating your site’s environmental liability also increases the value of your asset should you wish to sell down the track.

“Groundwater monitoring isn’t as onerous and expensive as you may think,” Griffin said. “Leighton O’Brien can help you understand your groundwater monitoring obligations, determine if your site is sensitive and establish a baseline of groundwater quality.

“It’s a natural extension of our business given our expertise in SIRA leak detection and tank integrity testing, so we can truly offer a one-stop-shop for our customers,” he said.

ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie welcomed the announcement by Leighton O’Brien.

“With legislation on groundwater monitoring in place in NSW and a voluntary scheme being introduce into Victoria, our industry is being sent a clear message about the need to get our house in order in respect of UPSS management”, said Mark.

But the business and commercial risks go beyond simple legislative compliance with government legislation.

“A site that is found to be contaminated presents significant and expensive challenges for the site owner, particularly if they are seeking to on sell or redevelop the site”, said Mark.

“Within this context, the development of practical solutions for the monitoring of groundwater is a very welcome development for our industry”, said Mark.

Further information

Businesses seeking more information about groundwater monitoring services from Leighton O’Brien should contact Robyn Celebi on (03) 9804 2200 or email fieldservices@leightonobrien.com.