Fuel contamination is a growing issue for fuel retailers that can impact on sales, maintenance budgets and brand reputation.

Newer fuel formulas like biodiesel and ethanol are more susceptible to contamination as they can hold more moisture since they have a higher water retaining capacity. This then causes problems such as water accumulation and microbial bugs in fuel tanks and transport equipment. Modern vehicles also require fuels that meet high quality standards which can otherwise be damaged by inferior products.

Taking a ‘head in the sand’ approach’ regarding fuel quality maintenance can lead to:

  • Vehicle engine failure, insurance claims and costly repairs
  • Your brand splashed across the media
  • Lost customers to the service station down the road (in fact, you could be losing 20% of your customers*)
  • Higher maintenance spend on blocked filters, pumps and dispensers
  • Slow flow and pre-set pumps running over
  • Environmental pollution
  • Accelerated corrosion in your storage tanks
  • Reduced value of your site asset when it’s time to sell
  • Non-compliance with national fuel quality standards

What causes fuel quality issues?

  • Ageing and poorly maintained fuel systems, especially steel tanks
  • Storage tank integrity issues causing water ingress and foreign material into the tank system from loose caps and fittings
  • Bacteria
  • Low turnover of product
  • Substituted or illegal product
  • Cross contamination from deliveries
  • Tank conversions
  • Poor corrosion protection practices
  • Transport equipment not cleaned regularly
  • Vapour return lines
  • Fill box drain line return

What are the signs of fuel contamination?

  • Water in the tank
  • Blocked filters
  • Slow flow pumps
  • Pre-set pumps running over
  • Automatic Tank Gauge float gets stuck
  • Disgruntled customers

Leighton O’Brien’s experience in cleaning thousands of underground fuel tanks indicates that many contain some form of contamination, whether it be water in the tank, rust particulate or bacterial sludge.

Fuel contamination, however, is a PREVENTABLE issue.

If you’re heading to the APFI Forum on 13-14 September, stop by our stand (no. 14) to find out how our Fuel Quality Monitoring Program can help prevent fuel contamination and keep your brand intact.

We’ll also be showcasing our suite of UPSS environmental management technologies including tank and line testinggroundwater monitoring, and SIRA/wetstock monitoring.

And there’s special offers on our fuel quality and groundwater monitoring services.

*ACAPMA 2015 Research Report: National Monitor of Fuel Consumer Attitudes revealed 20% of consumers choose their retailer because of fuel quality.

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