Fuel Systems begin, one way or another, with a tank. While tanks can be large or small, and horizontal or vertical, they also come in “Above-ground Storage Tank (AST) or Underground Storage Tank (UST) configurations. Determining whether you want an AST or UST can be a complicated choice, and in some cases, there really isn’t a choice.
Retail fuel sites are required to have nearly all storage tanks underground. There are some very limited exceptions on very small tanks, but basically, retail = UST.
Non-retail sites have many more options on their installations. A few of the decision factors in most scenarios we see are system footprint (space taken), accessibility, regulations involved and physical appearance.
Underground Storage Tanks
UST systems offer much greater space efficiency and accessibility. The final installation is generally limited to the islands for fuel access. Supporting equipment and controls can typically be housed in a nearby structure or in conjunction with the fuel island.
UST systems are where the bulk of environmental protection regulations are targeted, so a UST system requires more ongoing attention, and the monthly inspection is a more significant process.
Above-ground Storage Tanks
AST systems are more often used when there is available space, although due to the degree of protection needed, the tanks can be considerably more expensive. AST systems are regulated differently than UST’s, although there may still be underground components if you need multiple fueling points.
Both types of systems can have a very long useful life, and the ultimate decision on what type of system is best suited for an application is one that requires some careful consideration. There certainly is no one-size-fits-all solution, and our experts are here to help our customers weigh their options, system cost, and lead times.
Call us to learn more about your options!