In any industry, products can become outdated, deteriorate, fail to meet newer regulations, carry additional financial burdens to maintain, and more. That is why it is essential to recognize the tremendous value in not waiting to replace your aging fueling infrastructure equipment, like your Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and other forecourt devices.
There is no set age for when a UST reaches the end of its life, as many variables including environmental factors and maintenance measures can impact its lifespan. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average historical UST lifespan is close to 20 years based on the age at removal1. Despite this, forty percent of operating USTs in the United States are more than 30 years old, which makes them susceptible to corrosion or possible leaks. While USTs can pose a risk at any age, older tanks are not always designed for newer fuel formulations, making them more susceptible to degradation2.
There are also financial risks that come with older USTs. Depending on the age and environmental conditions, they can be prone to corrosion and leaks. When those situations happen, the costs typically do not stop at the tank. The costs to clean up and remediate the area affected by a leak can be consequential. The EPA estimates that the average cleanup is approximately $154,000, with cleanups affecting groundwater between $100,000 and $1 million, depending on the extent of the contamination. Additionally, operators with aging USTs typically face increasingly higher insurance rates and deductibles.
The financial risks are not the only reasons to update your site’s USTs. Regulatory standards and compliance requirements for USTs have evolved, and you should check with your local or state agency to ensure you are compliant with laws governing USTs in your state. Replacing aging USTs helps your site stay in compliance with those regulations, avoid fines or legal issues, and ensure that your USTs meet the latest industry standards.
States recognize that replacing aging USTs can be an expensive process. Thankfully, site owners and operators have options when it comes to financing a UST upgrade. Some states offer grants to help with replacement, like California’s Replacing, Removing, or Upgrading Underground Storage Tanks Grant.
In addition to grants, the Veeder-Root & NOV Bundle Financing Program with Patriot Capital also exists to make tank replacement projects more accessible with rates as low as 4.9%. This program allows you to upgrade your forecourt site equipment, and transform your gas station into a modern, compliant, and efficient hub while saving upwards of $59,000 in interest costs per site. Products included in the bundle are:
- Fiber Glass Systems’ Containment Solutions Tank (NOV)
- Fiber Glass Systems’ Piping (NOV)
- TLS-450PLUS and TLS4 Series Automatic Tank Gauges (Veeder-Root)
- The Red Jacket® Submersible Turbine Pumps (Veeder-Root)
In a world driven by rapid advancements, replacing aging USTs is not just a business decision or safety measure, but also a necessity to ensure uptime. It is a strategic move that ensures your site remains competitive and upholds the highest standards of performance, security, and compliance. There has never been a better time to replace your USTs and your forecourt site equipment as a whole.