Underground Storage Tanks
Underground storage tanks (USTs) are any tanks that have at least 10 percent of their volume below the earth's surface. Businesses use them to hold fuel, industrial liquids, water, and other substances that the businesses either use or sell. USTs stand in contrast to aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), which have all of their volume above the surface.
What Are The Benefits Of USTs?
The most obvious benefit of USTs is that they do not take up as much space as ASTs – space that can be used for other equipment or to serve your customers. This is especially valuable in densely-populated urban and suburban areas, where land is at a premium.
USTs are also less likely to violate local zoning laws. Fuel tanks are often seen as an eyesore, and many zoning commissions put strict limits on their location and size.
If your business plans to store material that must be kept at a constant temperature, USTs are better suited for this purpose. If you store these materials above ground, heaters, insulation, and other equipment may need to be used to control the temperature fluctuations.
Types Of USTs
Underground storage tanks are composed of two primary materials: fiberglass and fiberglass-coated black steel.
Fiberglass tanks: These tanks are made from fiber-reinforced plastic, which is strong, lightweight and resistant to corrosion.
Fiberglass-coated steel tanks: The outer shell of these tanks are coated with fiberglass to prevent corrosion. The fiberglass coating provides a secondary containment measure required by the EPA. This secondary containment feature helps prevent leakage into the surrounding soil.
Multiple compartment tanks: These tanks are divided into two or three sections, each of which can store a different material. Each compartment is sealed off from all the others, preventing the fluids from mixing. If you need to store multiple fluids below ground, it is less expensive and quicker to install. These tanks also reduce insurance costs, as agents count the multiple compartments as one tank.