If diesel tanks are filled with water, it indicates the presence of microbes. They can create acid that leads to corrosion, which will consequently cause leaking. At Bevlon, we always use a biocide to avoid possible microbial growth.
You need to ensure that you hire a reputable diesel tank cleaning company that perform accurate tests for microbes in the diesel tanks. Should the tests not be adequately performed, the results can be dramatically different every day.
Several factors contribute to skewed results.
The sample of diesel fuel that is measured
The results can only be as good as the sample allows them to be. The number of microbes can differ even if two samples are taken within a few centimetres from each other. The significance of the problem can be lessened by testing multiple samples at the same time, but the truth is that the results are always going to differ. However, if an experienced tank cleaning company conducts the tests, they shouldn’t differ by too much.
Only a portion (called a specimen) of a sample that’s been taken from the diesel tank is tested. The best way to get similar microbial counts is to take a sample from each phase of the fuel. There are four phases: the fuel phase (on the top), a rag layer interface, a free-water phase, and the sediment phase at the bottom of the diesel tank. All four of the phases should be tested.
The people who are running the test
People can run tests differently. It’s important to ask a diesel tank cleaning company if they have ASTM procedures in place. ASTM is an international standards organisation that sets out protocols that industries such as tank cleaning specialists need to follow. A reproducibility scope is built into the tests. It aims to benchmark an expectation of the result range that is acceptable should two, or more, people run the tests.
How often the test is repeated
Repeatability differs from reproducibility. It revolves around whether how many times one person may perform the test and achieve the same result; as opposed to whether two people getting the same results.
What causes these factors?
The ‘sample’ and ‘specimen’ factors are caused by the sporadic dispersal of microbes throughout the world. Unfortunately, this is beyond anyone’s control.
The type of test, and knowing the exact requirements for the test, is a substantial determinant for the last two factors. Therefore, it comes down to the competence of the person/people conducting the test.
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