JACKSON – The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has the following recommendations to underground storage tank (UST) owners and operators to assist them in minimizing damage and releases of fuel from underground storage tanks in a flood prone area.

1. Turn off all electricity to the UST system including power to dispensers, pumps, turbines, automatic tank gauging (ATG) consoles, lighting, and any other system components.
2. Take product inventory and water level readings of all USTs to help account for possible product loss.
3. Secure all openings on top of the tanks and make sure all fill caps are in good condition and fastened securely in place and locked. If fill caps are not tightened, tanks will fill with water and release product. Empty or near-empty tanks may float up, destroying overlying concrete/asphalt and distribution lines, which can also release product.
4. Make sure the seal on the spill bucket plungers (if so equipped) are operational so water cannot enter the tank.
5. Close the shear valve on pressurized piping to prevent releases from product dispenser lines.
6. Temporarily cap off the vent pipes to prevent water from entering the tank and displacing product (this should be the last thing done). Do not dispense fuel with the vent pipe capped as this could potentially damage the tank.
7. Place a dumpster, sand bag, or large containers full of sand or rock over the tank to reduce the chance of a tank floating out of the ground.

Should you observe a release from a UST or a UST floating out of the ground, contact 601-940-4500 or the 24 Hour Emergency Response at 1-800-222-6362.