Leighton O'Brien News and Events

Fuel site operators can now access EVERYTHING you need to know about underground fuel systems: Leighton O’Brien toolkit launch

Site owners and operators can now access a complete guide to maximising their asset value by reducing the risk of leaks and fuel contamination following Leighton O’Brien’s launch of an educational toolkit.

Underground Fuel Systems: Your ultimate risk management toolkit contains helpful information on the causes, effects and prevention of fuel leaks and contamination.

The easy-to-read guide also includes a cost benefit analysis of leak prevention vs contamination and clean-up and a checklist outlining a simple, proactive approach to risk mitigation.

Leighton O’Brien CEO Reed Leighton said: “we’ve drawn on more than 20 years of industry experience of our monitoring and testing results to develop this educational resource for smaller fuel retailers.”

“Every site is different, so operators should understand their risk profile, which depends on site location, age of fuel system infrastructure and level of maintenance and leak detection systems in place” Mr Leighton said.

The toolkit launch follows the release of company analysis which revealed 12 per cent of unmonitored underground fuel systems fail an equipment integrity test (EIT), indicating a potential leak or maintenance issue.

Unmonitored fuel systems include those not using continuous loss monitoring methods such as SIR, Wetstock SaaS, and ATG/electronic line leak detection. Monitored systems have fail rates of less than 0.5 per cent per annum.

The analysis shows the vast majority of fuel systems that fail are steel, of which 90 per cent are lines and 10 per cent are single-wall tanks.

Mr Leighton said the data shows single-wall steel lines pose the industry’s biggest integrity risk.

“Double-wall fibreglass tanks and double-wall high density polyethylene (HDPE) lines have a successful containment rate of 99.9% – if the systems are properly installed and independently tested.

“The industry is doing a good job managing environmental risk and delivering quality fuel to customers, particularly where fuel systems are monitored.

“Our analysis indicates customers are receiving clean fuel from monitored systems given more than 95 per cent of dispensing pumps are working at acceptable speeds.

“However, the research also reveals 36 per cent of underground fuel systems contain some degree of fuel contamination at the bottom of the tank including bacteria, particulates, sludge and water.

“Half of the contaminated tanks contain free phase water, which is particularly troubling for low sulphur fuels.

“When left unchecked, this creates maintenance and corrosion issues inside the tank system where water is present,” Mr Leighton said.

Mr Leighton said unmonitored tank systems present a real challenge for smaller site operators.

“Where a system is not monitored, fuel loss and poor product quality takes longer to detect, resulting in increased risk and maintenance costs.”

Mitigate your fuel site risk by clicking GET YOUR UPSS TOOLKIT to receive your free copy today.

UPSS Regulations Toolkit


15.03.2019 – by Leighton O'Brien
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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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