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Hydrocarbon Management at Service Stations: Why filling up your car can be hazardous to the environment

Dec 04 2018
Hydrocarbon Management at Service Stations: Why filling up your car can be hazardous to the environment

Have you ever stopped to think what happens to the fuel that gets spilled on the forecourt of a service station during an average day? Now what happens if you multiply that by the number of petrol stations in the country* and you may begin to have some idea of the potential damage we are inflicting on the environment.

Service station design an issue:

If you ever thought the roof over the petrol pumps were there to keep you dry while you filled the car in the rain, you are only partly correct. Fuel station canopies are designed to minimise the amount of rain water that hits the fuel pumps during a weather front. However, as bad as all of that sounds it really only becomes a true hazard to the environment when it rains and the oils, grease and fuel mix with the stormwater and washes into the drains.

While new service stations have canopies that cover the fuel pumps there will be a number of older fuel stations that do not comply with the current guidelines. Interestingly enough, while we have a number of guidelines for Hydrocarbon management at service stations, there is no specific Australian Standard at this time. However, in order to meet compliance requirements, the European British Standard BSEN 858-1:2002 applies. As this is the world’s most stringent standard for hydrocarbon management this provides an excellent framework to work from.

So, the question is - what can be done to bring older service stations up to meet the stricter environmental standards expected today?

The good news is that non-compliant service stations can be retrofitted with a hydrocarbon management solution. Allied Pumps choose the Puraceptor Class 1 stormwater treatment system. The Puraceptor is a full retention separator that treats all flows. It is to be sized to contain more than the anticipated maximum oil spillage — enabling it to be fully operational in treating stormwater runoff at all times. It has two chambers, a coalescer and is fitted with an automatic closure device specifically designed to contain major oil spills, thereby making it suitable for high-risk applications. It achieves a water discharge quality of less than 5mg light liquids per litre, complying with European Standard BS EN 858.1. 2006. Treatable flow rates range from 2LPS to 200LPS. Pipe sizes range from 100mm to 450mm (larger sizes on request).

Consequently, it is a perfect solution to treat, capture and retain hydrocarbons at refuelling stations. Allied Pumps has a long history of supplying hydrocarbon management systems for power stations, substations and switchyards, mining and heavy vehicle usage, waste transfer depots, re-fuelling areas, asphalt plants and service stations. This versatile application has many unique benefits making it an obvious choice to treat hydrocarbon runoff.

For more information, please visit our product page or call a member of the team on 08 9350 1000 to see how we can assist.

* Recent figures indicate there are around 6,500 fuel stations are in operation in Australia (Dec 2017) https://www.aecom.com/au/brilliantcityinsights/future-petrol-stations/