One of the most important features of a piping system is ease of installation and maintenance. But how is a piping system decision optimized? By thoroughly examining these three factors, the likelihood of selecting the right piping system dramatically increases:
- Anticipated fuel dispensing volumes
- Seismic activity
- Local environmental regulations
Although a dispensing site’s below ground infrastructure is typically built first, the placement of the dispensing units have been predetermined. This is done to create a footprint that maximizes space efficiencies while still developing a site that can handle anticipated fuel-dispensing levels. Failure to accurately forecast fuel demand can alter service-life expectancy of equipment as well as require additional site upkeep.
Seismic activity is also something to consider. Although subtle movements continuously occur within Earth, a shift of a few inches can be enough to cause stress on piping systems. This could cause connections to loosen or even pull apart and spur leaks. In areas of high-risk seismic activity you should consider a non-rigid pipe. This will reduce the likelihood of ground movement interrupting solid connections. However, it is important to note that no piping system can prevent leakage caused by severe shifts in the Earth.
For owners/operators of multiple site fuel-dispensing facilities (even facilities within the same geographic region) it is important to check with appropriate environmental agencies for specific piping requirements. This is because regulations regarding dispensing facilities may differ from state-to-state or even within a state’s borders.
Piping systems that are environmentally safe do not allow materials to leak; therefore not emitting hazardous materials into the ground and minimizing risks. Some additional factors to consider when selecting a piping system is a facility’s local water table level and overall climate. Both play a role in choosing the products that best suit your needs.
While the number of factors to review during the selection of a piping system may seem excessive or complex, it is important to correctly identify your needs. This is because the correct selection of piping typically has a lower installation cost due to a quick and easy installation process as well as provides easy access for future maintenance.
To learn more about OPW, contact your local OPW Sales Representative or OPW Distributor.