Installing Underground Storage Tanks

As the owner/operator of an underground storage tank, you have the legal responsibility for that tank. Therefore, you should understand as much as possible about the installation and operation. If you don’t understand your tank system, ask! Observe as much of the installation as possible. Make sure that the tanks and piping are tested before being put into service and that all monitoring equipment is working. Keep and maintain a copy of all final tests and operating instruction. You should be provided with adequate instruction on test procedures, preventive maintenance schedules, and proper tank charts. You should train all personnel on the use of the tank system, including the release detection and monitoring systems. You should also establish a program of preventive maintenance and periodic testing.

The following information will help you with some of the preliminary paperwork that must be in place before you begin the installation of your new tank.

Equipment Requirements for New Underground Storage Tanks

If you are installing a new tank it must meet new tank standards which include secondary containment, spill and overfill protection and corrosion protection for both the tank and the piping. In addition, all new regulated petroleum underground storage tanks (USTs) must perform interstitial monitoring of tank and piping. This includes emergency generator tanks. Secondary containment on tanks, piping, and product dispensers is required for all new UST installations and upgrades. Interstitial monitoring is required for all new secondary containment installed.

Notification and Permit Requirements for Installing New USTs

When you install a new tank you are required to notify the Utah Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) ten days prior to beginning the work. An installation permit and fee of $200 per tank is required and should be obtained prior to the completion of the installation. The local fire jurisdiction and health department should also be contacted for any requirements that they may have associated with the installation of new tanks.

UST Installation Permit

Information on the installation permit includes:

  • Utah Certified UST installer who is directing all critical operations associated with tank installation
  • Installation company name, address and current UST Installation Company Permit number
  • Date the work will commence
  • Tank owner name and address
  • Facility name and address
  • Complete description of what is to be installed: tank or piping, capacity, material of construction, substance to be stored, etc.
  • Integrity testing of the containment sumps and spill buckets.

Hire A Qualified Contractor

The following tips may help you find a reliable contractor to install your tanks:

  • Ask other tank owners who have had tanks installed to recommend contractors they have used
  • Look closely at the contractors’ qualifications and experience to make sure you are satisfied with both
  • Get references from the contractor
  • Obtain at least 2-3 bids
  • Verify that the contractor(s) have a current Utah UST Installer certificate and are working for, or subcontracted with, a company with a current UST Installation Company Permit

Correct Installation Practices Are A Must

Careless installation practices that do not follow standard industry codes and procedures can lead to problems that compromise the integrity and proper functioning of the tank system. Improper installation is a significant cause of failures for tanks and especially for piping.

Critical installation activities include:

  • pre-installation tank testing (air pressure test, soaping all surfaces, seams, and fittings while inspecting for bubbles)
  • tank site preparation including anchoring, tank placement, backfilling, overburden
  • cathodic protection installation, service or repair
  • vent and product piping assembly
  • installation of tank manholes, catch basins, sumps
  • post-installation piping and tank air test prior to putting product into the tank system for the final precision tightness test

Many mistakes can be made during installation. Mishandling of the tank during installation can cause structural failure of FRP tanks or damage to steel tank coatings and cathodic protection. Improper layout of piping runs, incomplete tightening of joints, inadequate cover pad construction, and construction accidents can lead to failure of delivery piping.

EPA Registration Form

The tanks should be registered using Notification for Underground Storage Tanks, EPA Form 7530-1, at the completion of the installation. The notification must be complete with the owner’s signature and include the tank installer’s signature certifying that the tanks meet all state and federal requirements for proper installation. Utah rules also require as-built drawings or site plats.

Red Tag Program

Delivery prohibition tags will be placed on a new tank during the installation process, to help ensure that no unauthorized deliveries (other than the one time drop) are made to the tank before it qualifies for a certificate of compliance. When the new tank does qualify for a certificate, the DERR will issue the certificate and a letter authorizing the removal of the delivery prohibition tag. Get more information.

One Time Drop Letter and Tank and Line Tightness Testing

Before the tank can be put into use, the integrity of the tank and associated piping must be evaluated through a tank and line tightness test. To receive fuel for the test, the owner or installer must contact the DERR for authorization of a one-time delivery. After the initial drop, the tanks may not receive subsequent deliveries of fuel until they are issued a Certificate of Compliance and a letter authorizing the removal of the delivery prohibition tags.

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