Storage Tanks

Storage tanks are closed containers with a capacity of more than 230 L that are designed to be installed in a fixed location. The University owns more than 300 storage tanks, which include fuel tanks and other storage tanks for hazardous materials.

Storage Tanks

What is UBC’s storage tank program?

Hazardous material storage tanks must be properly managed due to their potential risk to human health and the environment. Spills or leaks may result in soil, water, or air contamination, fire or explosion, or chemical exposure. In addition, some tanks present a confined space hazard. The Storage Tank Management Program has been implemented to address these risks, and inventory control is an important part of this program.

  • Every new storage tank must be pre-approved by Safety & Risk Services and registered [see below] in the storage tank database prior to installation.
  • During the active life of a storage tank, regular maintenance, monitoring, and inspections must be conducted by the tank’s owner and qualified personnel.
  • Any owner of a storage tank that is inactive for more than 180 days must contact Safety & Risk Services and follow a proper tank decommissioning process.

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What types of storage tanks are there and how are they regulated?

UBC has several types of hazardous materials storage tanks. Different federal, provincial and/or municipal regulations are applicable to storage tanks, depending on their type.

Tank Type Description Applicable Regulations
Fuel Used to supply fuel for emergency generators, for vehicle fueling stations, and heating oil for boilers.
Chemical Above and underground tanks used for the storage of large volumes of various chemicals.
Acid neutralization Holding tanks where neutralization is achieved passively by dilution. Used to minimize any potential corrosive attack on a facility’s drainage system and to ensure effluent pH is compliant with the bylaw.
Oil/water separators Designed to separate gross amounts of oil and suspended solids from wastewater effluents. Oil/water separators must be installed for every parking lot with 20 or more vehicles and downstream from certain fuel storage tanks.
Grease interceptors (grease traps) Designed/installed to separate and retain oil and grease in commercial kitchens, while permitting wastewater to discharge to the sanitary sewer.
Septic Watertight containers for receiving, treating and settling domestic sewage.
Liquefied gas Safe storage of liquefied gases (propane, oxygen, nitrogen, etc.), which have several associated hazards – fire or explosion, asphyxiation, toxicity, very low temperatures, as well as physical.
Waste storage & containment Used to collect wastewater from cleaning operations in areas where hazardous materials are used and stored.

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How are UBC storage tanks registered or decommissioned?

All above and underground storage tanks must be pre-approved by SRS and registered/decommissioned in the storage tank database. Contact Ligia Gheorghita for more information.

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What are the storage tanks procedures and required forms?

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