A preventative maintenance approach

Serving your customers the best quality fuel is imperative for today’s retail fuel operators. In fact, 20 per cent of customers choose their fuel retailer because of fuel quality*. Preventing dirty fuel drives customer loyalty and quantifiable commercial benefits in terms of volume and margin. Most countries now have fuel quality standards designed to reduce toxic vehicle emissions, and safeguard the consumer.

Modern vehicles require fuels that meet high quality standards and can be damaged by inferior products. Notwithstanding the fact that 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. Preventing this scenario is critical.

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 petrol station down the road
  • Higher maintenance spend on blocked filters, pumps and dispensers
  • Slow flow and pre-set pumps running over
  • Environmental pollution
  • Accelerated corrosion in your fuel storage tanks
  • Reduced lifespan of your tank system and asset value when it’s time to sell

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, particularly diesel
  • 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’s the solution?

Fuel and diesel contamination is a PREVENTABLE issue. The best way to ensure you’re supplying high quality fuel to your customers is to prevent the environment that allows fuel contamination to flourish, by proactively maintaining the integrity of your underground fuel tanks. Leighton O’Brien’s Fuel Quality Monitoring services provides a proactive approach to fuel quality assurance and preventing contaminated fuel.

  • We undertake fuel quality sampling from the tank floor via the most accessible port (usually the dip point), as well as a bacterial diesel sample.
  • The sample is subject to an appearance test in accordance with ASTM standards and included in a Fuel Quality Inspection Report comprising a particulate and water contamination rating, and a haze rating.
  • For any tank systems that don’t meet ASTM standards and fuel contamination exists, we undertake a multi-stage cleaning process to remove water and particulate matter from 100% of the tank floor which is pumped into a holding tank to settle.
  • The fuel is treated using a filtration and conditioning process and restored to 2 microns until it is clean and bright – removing only waste, not fuel, from your site.
  • Where any biological activity exists, the tanks are treated with biocide.
  • We provide you with a Tank Cleaning and Fuel Restoration Report and periodic sampling, tracking and fuel monitoring. Our analysis and reporting using our advanced software provides recommendations to help you maintain your product quality and prevent future issues such as sludge and microbial bugs in fuel.
  • We conduct precision integrity testing if your tank shows signs of water ingress in the future.

Leighton O’Brien’s preventative fuel maintenance solutions to monitor and maintain fuel quality is your product quality management assurance.


Performing a Fuel Quality Sample and Appearance Test
Performing a Fuel Quality Sample and Appearance Test
Checking a (UST) Underground Storage Tank for Contaminated Fuel


Adding fuel polishing and restoration to our product line through Leighton O’Brien is another valued service to address fuel quality issues. We are extremely pleased with the design and efficiency of the units and provides a professional platform that fits our model well.

Chris Biellier, Vice President
Seneca Companies – Environmental & Waste Solutions Divisions, USA

Leighton O’Brien is integral to our operation. We trust them to provide tank cleaning, testing and monitoring for our petrol stations around Australia. They are a smart engineering and technology company who I highly recommend.

Terry Lunney, Manager – Assets, Facilities, Construction
7-Eleven Stores Pty. Ltd.

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