Jet vac tankers operated by Lanes Group plc have been used to fill fuel storage tanks with water so construction workers can begin a project to refurbish a filling station.
The safety measure is needed to eliminate any residual risk of fumes in the empty tanks igniting while the filling station, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, is being modernised and refitted.
Retail and forecourt construction specialist William Southern had a window of just one day to fill the fuel storage tanks, and turned to Lanes to carry out the task.
A specialist fuel management company first removed all fuel, cleaned the tanks, then surveyed them. This gave the garage owner assurance that they were ready for Lanes to take the next step, by filling them with water.
Following the completion of a specific risk assessment and method statement, three Lanes jet vac tankers operated in relay to pump 127,000 litres of water into the underground fuel tanks at the filling station.
Each jet vac tanker had to empty five loads of water to complete the task.
Lanes East London Area Development Manager Steve Murrells said: “Our jet vac tanker units are best known for cleaning wastewater drains and sewers.
“But they are ideally-suited for a much wider range of water vacuumation and pumping tasks. Filling fuel storage tanks like these is just one of them.”
With the filling work overseen by a William Southern supervisor, the fuel tanks were first thoroughly vented, then continuous gas monitoring was set up.
Thanks to the water extraction licences held by Lanes Group, the jet vac tanker operators could take potable water from a nearby wash out hydrant, and deliver it to the fuel station forecourt.
Once renovation work has been completed, Lanes will vacuum the water out of the fuel storage tanks, and take it to an authorised waste site for safe disposal.
William Southern will then dry the tanks before they are refilled with fuel, ready for the filling station to reopen.