Starting in 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required periodic testing of old and new containment sumps used for monitoring interstitial products. Spill buckets should also be tested. Sumps used for other purposes do not require periodic testing.
Spill buckets are intended to catch any spills that may happen when the delivery hose is disconnected, but they are not designed for storage of petroleum products. This is why monthly cleaning is important. Spill buckets must have a capacity of at least five gallons.
Containment sumps are the collection point for leaks. Liquid sensors are put above the floor of the sump and activate if there is any fuel or water leakage, which will alert the owners to a problem.
Spill buckets are tested for tightness at installation. The standard for failure is .08 or more loss of water in a one hour period. For testing of spill buckets, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) suggests contracting a tank testing company and asking about the proper disposal of fluid that needs to be discarded.
Secondary containment for underground storage tanks (UST) includes the outer wall of double-wall product piping, double-wall tanks, submersible pumps, piping sumps and under-dispenser containment. The State of New Hampshire requires that all containment equipment be tested before December 22, 2017 and thereafter every three years. Passing the test means there is no leakage or loss of liquid during the test. All records for testing must be kept for three years.
You may wonder what happens if a spill bucket or containment sump fails the test. The tester must immediately notify the NHDES and UST service owner of the test failure and repair or replace spill buckets or sumps within 30 days. Deliveries will not be allowed until the required repairs are made.
The secondary containment that protects your tank, sumps and piping from leaking must also keep the water out. Water leaking into spill buckets is a common problem but UST owners have to prevent water from entering their tanks. A sump full of oily water will not perform as intended and will corrode the pipes and fittings.
Repairing leaks in a sump may require removing the concrete above the sump, disconnecting the piping and installing a new sump over the tank. This can cost $12,000 to $15,000 plus disruption of service.
Today, leaking UST sumps can often be fixed with the new adhesive technologies without shutting down the fuel system. Sump holes, cracks or seam leaks can be repaired using a fast setting, two-part structural plastic adhesive bonder. Replacement of leaking entry fittings can be done using a split repair boot without disconnecting fuel pipes.
The fittings are designed to last the pump’s lifetime and require no disconnections or excavation of sump entry pipes. After installation a sump, it can be tested immediately. In order to keep the manufacturer’s warranty, you must make sure to use a certified installer of sump leak repair products.