New fuel storage tank installed at BWFH
In 1976, when Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital was built, two 20,000-gallon fuel storage tanks were installed underground in a grassy area in front of what it is now the Emergency Department ambulance garage. Forty years later, those tanks have reached the end of their lifespan and were recently removed and replaced by a single 20,000-gallon fuel tank located closer to the power plant.
Soil samples indicate the old tanks themselves have not leaked over the years. However, they are no longer code compliant. “The code states that they need to be removed within calendar year 2017,” says Paul Keating, Director of Facilities at BWFH. “The existing tanks are single-walled fiberglass construction, which means they don’t offer any leak containment should the lining of the tank crack or rupture. The current code states that all underground fuel storage systems have to a have secondary containment mechanism, including alarms that indicate a problem.”
To meet code, BWFH is removing the old tanks. But, as a result of the recent upgrades to the power plant, we no longer need two 20,000-gallon tanks. Therefore, just one new tank was recently delivered and installed. The new tank meets code requirements and is located much closer to the power plant.
“By eliminating the old tanks and installing the new tank closer to the power plant, we eliminate the need for all that fuel piping that is in the ceiling of the ED,” says Keating. “There is also a fuel pump station behind the enclosed ambulance garage that will be removed.” As a result, BWFH mitigates the risk of a fuel pipe leak that might impact patient care.