Tanknology Inc. recently began its celebration of 30 years in business by unveiling a commemorative website and a new 30-year logo.

The anniversary website details Tanknology’s 1988 formation and subsequent growth into a provider of environmental compliance testing and inspection services. The 30-year logo will be on display throughout the year.

Anniversary celebrations are planned at the company’s home office in Austin, Texas, as well as regional offices in California, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey and Ohio. Celebrations also are planned in conjunction with Tanknology’s involvement in the 26th National Tanks Conference & Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, and the 2018 PEI Convention at the NACS Show in Las Vegas.

The Tanknology Story

Tanknology formed in 1988 to help oil companies and small, independent gas station operators understand the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for underground storage tanks (USTs). Its mission was to “Serve the evolving needs of fuel storage tank owners by providing the broadest range of testing, inspection and compliance management.”

For the first time, U.S. federal regulations required leak detection for tanks and piping in the form of monthly inventory control combined with annual tightness testing. In addition, owners had to demonstrate financial responsibility for their facilities.

By 1998, USTs had to be equipped with leak detection, spill and overfill protection and corrosion protection.

The new requirements were far-reaching, and many facilities were taken out of operation. According to the EPA, the number of operational USTs in the U.S. fell from more than 2 million in 1988 to a little more than 500,000 by 2017.

Today, UST operators face a second set of EPA regulations, and compliance deadlines begin in October.

The new regulations require: secondary containment on new and replaced fuel tanks and piping; approved operator training at facilities; periodic operational inspections and maintenance; and tank system compatibility before storing certain biofuel blends. The EPA also removed the previous deferrals in the original regulations for emergency generator tanks, field-constructed tanks and airport hydrant systems. 

Solutions for Evolving Needs

Reacting to the testing and inspection needs of the UST market has taken many forms during Tanknology’s 30 years in business.

In 2013, when extensive corrosion began surfacing in the steel components of diesel UST systems, Tanknology’s TankCam remote visual inspection service was used for an EPA study to assess the nature and severity of the problem via remote video. The conclusion: 83 percent of diesel corrosion systems contained moderate to severe corrosion.

When ethanol-blended fuels came about in the mid-2000s, operators noticed fuel performance problems in tank systems caused by water and debris. Tanknology developed ethanol preparation services in 2006 to help operators clean and prepare their tanks for the introduction of ethanol, minimizing phase separation of the fuel and the associated fuel performance problems.

Management of testing results and the sharing of data among sites, client headquarters and Tanknology offices became easier in 1999 when Tanknology released the predecessor to its Tancs data access system for compliance testing services. Tanknology customers can see from their desktops detailed information about their sites, services performed, schedules, results of tests and site data.

Fuel quality became especially acute in the mid-1990s, and Tanknology developed its FuelPure fuel cleaning and polishing system, which is still available. More recently, Tanknology developed the TankClean high-pressure tank cleaning system that incorporates the company's TankCam system to facilitate cleaning with a clear view of the insides of tanks throughout the cleaning process.