WASHINGTON (July 22, 2016) — Most diesel fuel underground storage tanks (USTs) examined in a new study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exhibited moderate to severe corrosion, making them prone to failure, according to the agency.
Thirty-five of the 42 USTs the EPA surveyed, or 83 percent, had moderate to severe corrosion. However, less than 25 percent of UST owners were aware of the corrosion before the EPA inspection, the agency said.
“If left unchecked, corrosion could cause UST system failures and releases, which could lead to groundwater contamination,” the EPA said in a July 20 press release.
UST failures and leaks are historically a leading cause of groundwater contamination, according to the EPA, noting that groundwater is a source of drinking water for nearly half of the U.S. population.
“Although EPA cannot project the actual percentage of USTs storing diesel that are affected by corrosion nationwide, the agency is alerting owners of USTs storing diesel fuel about risk from corrosion,” the agency said.
“EPA's notification recommends owners check inside their tank systems and further investigate the condition of their diesel fuel tanks,” the EPA said.
To access the report and further information about USTs, go to the EPA's website.