Oil tank backfill is the material that is used to fill the excavation space around an installed fuel tank and its access pipe system. Typical backfilling is done with crushed stone, absorbent sand, and pea gravel.
Oil tank backfill is the material that surrounds an underground fuel tank as it is being installed. The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has a lot to say regarding the exact size, shape, and material that backfill can be. It is crushed stone, absorbent sand, and pea gravel. The EPA gets even more specific stating that the material has to be clean sand, or pea gravel no larger than one-quarter inch in diameter. They also state that material excavated from the installation site cannot be used.
Backfill for underground storage tanks is a specialized material that cannot be anything other than what is designated by the EPA.
Oil tank Installation Engineers and oil tank construction companies are well versed on installation and compliance requirements for underground fuel tanks. They will know how to deal with local stone and gravel companies to get the exact mixture that is required for underground oil tank installations or for bringing an older tank up to a compliance level.
Why all the fuss about the gravel that surrounds an oil tank?
It all has to do with the weight of the tank, groundwater and the possibility that the tank could be lifted and displaced, crumbling under its own weight or worse… floating. Oil tank backfill helps keep the tank in check.
The weight and absorbent capabilities of the backfill need to be able to hold the tank in check should rising waters try to displace it.
In many parts of the country, high groundwater levels are common. Installation engineers working with oil tank construction companies can put in a system that will account for this condition by calculating the buoyancy and adding countermeasures against rising waters. The Backfill along with anchoring are two measures to take.