Automatic Tank Gauging Systems: Getting Your Money’s Worth

Get to know your ATGS. Get clear instructions from the installer on how to use your ATGS.

Check that your ATGS is always on and plugged in to a power source. The ATGS cannot monitor leaks if it’s off. Believe it or not, EPA says, plenty of citations have been handed out after inspectors found the device unplugged.

Don’t ignore the alarm. Large leaks have gone undetected when operators have ignored an alarm or turned off their ATGSs.

Test, test, test. Run your ATGS in test mode at least monthly. Here are some tips:

  • Test when your tank is full. An ATGS does not detect leaks above the product level so test it when it is as full as it typically gets for your facility.
  • Test frequently. The more you test the better your chance of detecting a leak, and the easier and less costly the cleanup.

Maintain and calibrate your system according to manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the directions in the manual when using your ATGS. You should have a phone number from the manufacturer or installer that you can use to ask for help.

Report problems. You have to report your test results to your state environmental agency, usually within 24-hours. You also have to investigate and confirm all suspected leaks immediately. EPA says, when in doubt, report.

Keep records. Federal regulations require you to keep records. Keep them at either the UST site or at a readily available alternative site. You will have to provide them upon request at an inspection.

Keep for at least 1 year:

  • Monthly test results
  • Documentation of all calibration, maintenance, and repair

Keep for at least 5 years:

  • Any written performance claim for your ATGS.
  • Manufacturer-supplied schedules for calibration and maintenance

ATGS monitoring should be given to the most responsible person. Have ATGS alarms should go to a central, 24-hour contact and not in the hands of a part-time or under trained worker.

Your state or local regulations may be stricter than federal regulations. Be sure to check with your state environmental agency for more requirements that may apply to your UST.

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