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?

If storage tanks are not managed properly, hazardous material storage tanks may present hazards 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. To address these potential risks, a Storage Tank Management Program has been implemented and inventory control is an important part of this program.

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

Learn about management practices for hazardous materials storage tanks at UBC including: fuel tanks, acid neutralization tanks, grease traps, oil water separators, chemical and waste tanks. Different regulations are applicable to storage tanks depending on their types. Refer to tank description and specific regulatory requirements below.

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How are fuel tanks regulated?

Above and underground fuel storage tanks are used at UBC to supply fuel for emergency generators, for vehicle fueling stations, and as heating oil for boilers. They are regulated by federal and provincial regulations:

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How are chemical storage tanks regulated?

Above and underground chemical tanks are used for the storage of large volumes of various chemicals. They are regulated by provincial and municipal regulations:

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How are acid neutralization tanks regulated?

Acid neutralization tanks were installed to ensure effluent pH is in compliance with Metro Vancouver Sewer Use Bylaw (PDF) and to minimize any potential corrosive attack on a facility’s drainage system.

Most of these tanks are holding tanks where neutralization is achieved passively by dilution.

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How are oil/water separators regulated?

Oil/water separators are devices designed to separate gross amounts of oil and suspended solids from the wastewater effluents. Oil/water separators must be installed for every parking lot with 20 or more vehicles and downstream from certain fuel storage tanks. They are regulated by federal regulations:

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How are grease traps/grease interceptors regulated?

Grease interceptors or grease traps are devices designed and installed to separate and retain oil and grease from wastewater, while permitting wastewater to discharge to the sewer. Their installation and maintenance requirements are regulated by:

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How are septic tanks regulated?

Septic tanks are watertight containers for receiving, treating and settling domestic sewage. These tanks are regulated by the:

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How are liquefied gas tanks regulated?

The hazards associated with liquefied gases include fire or explosion, asphyxiation, toxicity, very low temperatures, as well as physical hazards. Liquefied gas tanks (propane, oxygen, nitrogen, etc.) are regulated under the:

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How are waste storage and containment tanks regulated?

Waste storage and containment tanks are used to collect waste water from cleaning operations in areas where hazardous materials are used and stored. The content is regulated for discharge both by provincial and municipal regulations:

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How are UBC storage tanks registered or decommissioned?

All new above and underground storage tanks must be pre-approved by RMS and registered in the RMS storage tank database.

If applying for new tank approval and registration

  • Select “New Tank Registration
  • Select “type of tank”
  • Complete the relevant required information
  • Follow directions for submitting information found at the end of the form

If applying to decommission a tank

  • Obtain an approved contractor for removal and disposal of tank and contents
  • Obtain and provide to RMS documentation of proper disposal of tank and contents from the contractor
  • Obtain test results of soil samples after the tank is removed from contractor and provide to RMS (applicable for underground tanks)
  • Select “Decommission Existing Tank
  • Select “type of tank”
  • Complete the relevant required information
  • Ensure RMS is emailed the required documentation

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What are the storage tanks procedures and required forms?

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