Oh Vey!!! Another sump and spill bucket water alarm goes off after a big rain or snow melt means another phone call from the gas station to the contractor. Unfortunately for the station owner, this means unwanted money spent on removal, storage, transporting and disposal of Petroleum Contact Water or PCW. Additional headaches for the station owner include
In the old days, station owners could just pump the water out and pour into the flower bed. But have many stations have learned the hard way…….contaminated flower beds and the soil underneath the beds is not only bad news from state environmental regulators, but big money when it comes time for an environmental assessment from banks and property owners. Additionally, many states a local government flat out forbid this practice and heavy fines or citations can be issued. If one takes a look at the EPA standard - 40 CFR Part 280, there is a specific section, 280.36, which states containment sumps and spill buckets shall be kept free of liquid and debris. And for those who inspect and maintain such equipment, they must make notes if liquid and debris are present.
To reduce these problems, today’s savvy station owners are upgrading lids, leveling parking lots, raising concrete and containment areas, building new fuel pads etc. to combat water intrusion. That is great if the station has plenty of money, but even still, mother nature can wreak havoc. Fortunately, there is new technology from Steel Camel in the forms of water blocking gels, doughs and impregnated gaskets that offers a new and safe method to block water. The products are easily and safely applied by hand, and also easy to dispose of. This technology allows station owners either to have trained employees apply the product, or hire the service contractor supplying 30-day inspection services to apply the product.
But What About the Contractors Who Make Money Removing, Storing, Transporting and Disposing of Water?
Yes, there are some really good and reputable service and environmental companies that do a great job of removing, hauling and properly disposing water. Some make over $1.75 a gallon and have minimum charges of $600.00, and up to $800.00 in large metropolitan areas. While this may look good to the contractor from a billing standpoint, there are several problems with this model. Let’s take a look at just a few:
So… What Is The Answer for Contractors……….to pick up or block the water?
Since the implementation of EPA 40 CFR 280 standard and the introduction of Steel Camel water blocking technology, many of today’s savvy contractors are finding it more economical and a lot less headaches to provide blocking products and services rather remove and haul services. This is particularly true for those contractors who perform a) 30 day inspections, and b) see value in selling products off the truck during the service calls or inspections. And example of this is a contractor who see’s current and forecasted rain and they know they won’t be returning for 30 days, they sell a few tubes of Steel Camel AquaBlok Gel to Independent owners and operator who are willing to take 15 minutes to apply the product in exchange for no alarms going off and no bills for removal and disposal.
For more information and the Steel Camel guide to blocking water, please contact 813-877-4665.
Rubber Mats vs. Steel Camel to Block Water Intrusion in Sumps & Spill Buckets.
Since the first containment sumps were required some 30 years ago, station owners, inspectors and contractors have struggled to keep water out of the sumps during big rains and snow melts……….particularly in our home state of Florida where it rains ping pong ball droplets for 4o minutes…….all summer long. This matter has increased importance since state and federal rules 40 CFR Part 280 now mandate that containment sumps must be kept free of all liquids and debris.
The simplest answer is for a station owner to obtain a well-made lid and a matching well-made rubber gasket and then forget about it! Unfortunately, that situation doesn’t always work for a variety of reasons including:
Even with well made lids and matching gaskets, there are other issues such as excessive temperatures that cause expansions and cracks of concrete and metal. Some station owner are going to the lengths of rising the concrete an inch or two…….still, big rains are no match.
So with water intrusion station owner have to take extra steps to avoid compliance violations, alarms and the high cost of water removal, storing, transporting and disposal. Speaking of disposal fees, In today’s world the larger “Vac Trucks” are requiring a $500 minimum to come pump out a 100 gallons.
In todays world, there are a few options, 1) Rubber mats that act as a physical topical barrier. And 2), water blocking gels, doughs and gaskets where go underneath the lids and block water through both physical attributes and chemistry. Lets explore further.
Rubber Mats can be purchased online and run anywhere form $50-80 for one 44” mat They weigh about 25 pounds and have a tendency to get heavier the more they soak up rain.
The benefits are they will block the water over a long time if left un disturbed and everything works according to plan…………..but we are talking gas stations and lots of traffic.
The drawbacks of rubber mats are many including:
Steel Camel Water Blocking Products
Seeing that the rubber mats were not working very well, Steel Camel create water blocking products with its patented water blocking technology https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLj95QLErDs&t=10s .
Each products works by suing the water blocking principals in the chemistry. The more it rains, the more they each block water. Three products are currently on the Steel Camel roster.
How Long Do the Products Last?
The longevity of each product is different. The AquaBlok Gel is averaging 2-3 week at a normal station and 1-2 weeks at a super busy station. The application with a caulking gun is quite simple and costs about $9.00 per application.
The Dead Snakes are lasting 3-4 months even during harsh winters and heavy rains. They products are meant to be used by contractors, store owners and inspectors who are maintaining the station and typically the ones to open lids.
In summary, rubber mats look great on the surface…….until mother nature or the public kicks in……..both unavoidable. Steel Camel products have both innovative technology and innovative applications to solve this complex problem of water intrusion. For more information, please contact Steel Camel at 813-877-4665.