What are the Telltale Signs of Contaminated Onsite Fuel Tank?

Do you have this hunch that your onsite fuel tank is possibly contaminated by some kind of microbial growth or presence? But you are not so certain about it? Even if you are observing a regular maintenance program for your fuel tanks, the risk of running into some kind of trouble will remain — perhaps on the verge of being inevitable. 

While you can opt for your tanks to be checked annually, there is a good possibility that major things could happen in between those time gaps. If you want to veer away from expensive issues with regard to your fleet, you must know exactly what to look out for and when you need to take action when something amiss came up.  

The Main Symptoms of Onsite Fuel Tank Contamination 

A contaminated fuel containment system usually has 3 types of main symptoms, from the tank to vehicle down to fuel symptoms — we would be able to track our path through the issue itself. You can do this when you have a good outline of what you need to keep an eye for at each point. 

It is of paramount importance that you know what these symptoms are. The earlier you spot them on, the better because it gives you a chance to act sooner on the problem. This way you can keep the possibility of costly fuel tank damage at bay.

1. Equipment failure or engine problems

If you are observing regular maintenance checks on your fuel tanks and part of your drill is to inspect or check out the fuel itself, you’d have a good chance of identifying the first telltale sign of contaminated fuel tank, and this has something to do with engine trouble.  

Are you currently experiencing problems with your vehicle engines for no apparent reason? Does this involve a sudden loss of power or the performance you’ve observed is poorer than before? Are you seeing involuntary changes on the engine speed, spluttering or loss of power to accelerate? All these mentioned here are signs of contamination in fuel tanks. 

You also need to keep an eye on blocked filters, which will eventually necessitate you to have your vehicle serviced more often than not. If you have been observing any or all of the above, then it comes to follow that you need to have your fuel tested for possible contamination. You may need to have your fuel tank system checked for any possible damage.  

2. Fuel tank erosion 

If you are under suspicion that a serious, urgent issue is looming on the horizon, trust your gut feeling and take action right away. Do this by inspecting your fuel and tank at the earliest possible time. One of the most tangible signs of fuel contamination for a containment tank is the actual fuel tank erosion itself.  

If contamination in your liquid fuel is high enough, it will eat away your containment tank itself. And if this is visible already, it is an indication of severe contamination already. Therefore, drastic actions should be underway. 

3. Fuel Appearance

You need to get your fuel tested for contamination and diesel bugs. You can take this measure on your own also and just look out for possible symptoms such as diesel bug growth or water contamination.  

Under normal conditions, your fuel should have a bright and clear appearance. Otherwise, its cloudy looks like a clear indication of water contamination. If you are in this scenario, it will necessitate immediate treatment to keep the possibility of bacterial growth down and to keep bugs from developing. 

Bugs will take on the appearance of a film of sludge. They usually appear underneath the water, at the bottom part of the tank. Therefore, if you are on a quest for indicating symptoms of fuel contamination, see to it that you will not skimp on this part, taking some samples from your tanks bottom part, too.  

If you found any signs of sludge presence in your onsite fuel tank, check out its color. Dark looking sludge may well indicate hard particles are forming here, like asphaltenes. These can induce trouble to your vehicle engines since they run the possibility of blocking your filters eventually impacting its overall performance.