Getty pump dripping

If you read the regional press regularly, you’ll notice quite a few stories about emergency works at petrol filling stations due to water in a fuel storage tank.

It seems that biofuels are often the culprit. Edward Wheeler, group managing director at Eurotank Service Group, says that with all retail fuels now containing some percentage of biofuels, they require much cleaner and dryer storage conditions than their 100% mineral distant relative fuels. “Petrol and diesel can pick up water, rust, sediment and other contaminants, which can both block fuel pump filters and damage vehicles,” he explains.

Water management is critical to keeping fuel ‘on spec’ so it doesn’t lead to expensive downtime and remedial works.

When it comes to tanks, the bigger the tank, the bigger the challenge to keep the tank clean and dry. Wheeler explains: “With biofuel blended fuel, you don’t really want a tank that’s bigger than 20,000 litres as this is small enough to keep fuel turning over, without water building up far away from the tank manholes in the ‘dead bottom’ area.

“When it comes to tank gauges, it is not commonly known that you actually need quite a lot of water to lift a tank gauge water float – 10-20mm depending on the gauge, as the float needs enough water to become buoyant on/in the water to lift up. That amount of water in the bottom of a large, modern fuel tank is a disaster for fuel quality because this water will be held in suspension far longer with biofuel blends during and after a tanker delivery.

“Phase separation in petrol blends and microbial contamination in diesel blends will happen if 10-20mm of water is not removed.”

A tank gauge cannot be relied upon to detect the presence of water. Modern petrol station fuel systems tend to have large tanks with one tank manhole/manway and the tank gauge installed next to the fill pipe.

“Putting a tank gauge next to a fill pipe is the worst place to install it,” Wheeler warns. “Firstly, there is a significant chance of the water float being affected by the turbulence of the delivery, and secondly, this is the area of the tank that is least likely to have water present.

“Regular fuel deliveries keep the floor area of the tank directly beneath the fill point very clean as debris is pushed away during filling. Sediment on the floor creates dam-like barriers for free water to build up behind, so you will always have far more water at the ends of the tanks than where the tank gauge is fitted. This makes it far more likely that you will have customer complaints about fuel quality before you have a water alarm on a tank gauge.”

Wheeler adds that Eurotank works with suppliers Maser and Omntec for tank gauges and can advise forecourt operators on the best equipment for their site.


Tank gauge calibration is important for the early detection of losses or gains and Eurotank uses Calibex, an ATEX-approved laser calibration system that quickly measures a live underground tank and produces a highly accurate strapping table. This removes the variances caused by lack of calibration as well as numerous additional benefits to knowing the exact height to volume table.

FuelPrime addition

Last year Eurotank added another string to its bow after becoming the UK distributor of the FuelPrime wet stock management system from Poland-based AIUT.

Slawomir Mikulski, business development director for FuelPrime, says this smart data solution can easily increase business profitability by reducing both fuel losses and risks of leakages, which can be costly but also harmful for the environment.

FuelPrime’s main functions include:

• 24/7 fuel level control

• leak detection, online alarming and safety

• online dispatch confirmation

• automatic delivery volume reconciliation

• 24/7 dispenser monitoring

• automatic reconciliation and predictive maintenance.

The FuelPrime Console connects to existing controllers with easy online access to the system via a customer portal. The system works by receiving real-time data from petrol stations, specifically volume, temperature, sales and delivery data. This is fed into FuelPrime, which uses state-of-the-art algorithms for real-time wet-stock reconciliation.


The data is analysed by AIUT’s skilled personnel who deliver advice and recommendations. This could be a quick escalation in the case of discrepancies or advice on preventative action. All of this continuously builds FuelPrime’s knowledge base for better efficiency and better service for end users.

In terms of delivery losses, for example, FuelPrime has been able to identify the real causes and the value of those losses, saving forecourts thousands of pounds.

Precise over-dispensing data has also saved sites money, as has speedy leak detection that means even the smallest leak is detected. Mikulski says certified SIR3 leak detection at the level of 5ltr/24hr makes FuelPrime the most accurate reconciliation system in the world.

With FuelPrime’s Basic package, users get a customer portal, daily gain/loss analysis, daily leakage detection, alarms and eight-hour-a-day support from the service desk team. Optional extras include recommendations and tank autocalibration.

FuelPrime’s Professional package has advanced gain/loss analysis that is available daily and online; service desk, leakage detection, alarms that are operational 24/7, dispenser monitoring, delivery reconciliation and tank autocalibration.

Issues the system identifies that would be dealt with immediately include:

• high water level – that is a water level higher than the configured threshold, which is typically between 0-5cm and is site specific

• overfill, which again is tank specific but typically around 95% of the tank’s capacity

• deadstock, where the fuel level is lower than the configured threshold – again, tank specific and typically 5-10% of the tank’s capacity

• fuel loss where the reconciliation error from the online analysis is higher than the configured threshold.

Longer-term issues that are detected by AIUT’s analysts and can be escalated include: probe hang-up; nozzle miscalibration; slow leakage; faulty return valve; faulty vapour recovery system; inaccurate stock readings; missing sales; temperature issues; not-recorded non-standard events; incorrect data input; and other infrastructure issues.

One site using FuelPrime identified a loss of 2,000 litres of fuel in just two months. The system found that the biggest culprit was poor nozzle calibration, followed by delivery, then temperature, then poor tank calibration.

FuelPrime is used by more than 400 Shell-branded forecourts in Poland and Shell Polska says it has provided significant operational optimisation via fuel loss reduction.

“The benefits of FuelPrime are plentiful but the main ones are reduced fuel losses, which saves money and also means less harm to the environment,” says Mikulski.

As for return on investment, Mikulski says: “During our 10 years’ experience, we noticed that we could reduce the fuel losses even by 0.5% of fuel sold. Our services usually pay back after one or two years. Savings for every station can be estimated from 5,000 to 15,000 litres.”

titan cloud

Titan takeover

A new name in the UK for wet-stock management is Titan Cloud. You may not be familiar with the name but you soon will as last month the US company acquired Suresite’s wet-stock business.

Through the acquisition, Titan Cloud will fully integrate Suresite’s wet-stock monitoring services and customers under the Titan Cloud brand. The agreement excludes other assets and the Suresite brand name.

Titan Cloud says Suresite customers can expect the same “exceptional service and support” they’ve received thus far, enhanced by the power of Titan Cloud’s fuel asset optimisation solutions.

The company says its end-to-end fuel asset optimisation platform and solutions enable fuel operators to increase revenue, reduce costs, streamline logistics and ensure environmental compliance through advanced data analytics, AI-driven demand forecasting, real-time monitoring and optimised fuel supply chain management.

The company currently serves over 700 customers globally, all of whom rely on its software and services to streamline operations and boost profitability.

Titan Cloud has promised existing Suresite clients a smooth transition without any operational interruptions. As for prospective customers, a company spokesperson says: “Precise, proactive wet stock management is critical to the success of fuel retailers operating in a highly competitive space. Every day, fuel supply operators grapple with balancing supply and demand, minimising holding costs and reducing the risk of runouts. Doing so successfully can mean the difference between increasing business growth or losing significant revenue.

“Integrated, industry-specific technology solves the fuel operations puzzle. By minimising manual interventions and maximising efficiency, automated wet-stock management helps companies unlock operational excellence and substantial revenue growth. It does this by providing real-time visibility and acting as a centralised hub for all procurement, sales, and supply-related data in one digitally integrated command centre.

“Titan Cloud is the most comprehensive platform on the market for managing fuel, logistics, maintenance and compliance. Retailers choose Titan Cloud’s industry-leading integrated solutions to move beyond the operational constraints and manual processes of traditional systems, unlocking the power of end-to-end optimisation.”