Chippenham Service Station

Chippenham Service Station

By cleaning and lining its tanks, DP Fuel Tank Services (DP FTS) and two of its strategic partners have helped rescue a Chippenham service station from possible closure, despite an extremely high water table and having to access one tank through a kitchen showroom.

The tanks were cleaned by DP FTS, the pipework dealt with by Thames Valley Petroleum (TVP) and the lining by Repair, Protection and Maintenance (RPM).

Says Stephen Andrews of Wiltshire Services, which owns two service stations in the area: “We discovered we had a problem with at least one of our tanks, which is not surprising as they are at least 40 years old. We were going to close because of the problems and the possible expense of new tanks, but then we researched relining of the tanks.”

Three tanks were cleaned and lined, comprising one 27,800ltr double compartment tank, one 13,800ltr double compartment tank and one 10,000ltr single compartment tank.

To keep water down below the lips of the entrance hatches, three pumps had to be kept going constantly. In one of the tanks, where a leak had been discovered, the pumps also had to keep the water level down so it could be cleaned safely and properly. When it was completely drained the force of the water table was such that it caused a 2ft fountain in the bottom of the tank.

This was tackled by the RPM crew with the use of a temporary patch, after which a permanent repair was made by the applying of the single-skin tank lining.

The other main challenge was that part of the rural site was occupied by the showrooms of Closa, a top-of-the-range kitchen and furniture supplier, selling mainly Neptune hand made kitchen, bathroom and bedroom furniture. A kitchen display had been constructed on top of one of the man-entry chambers, so the three teams had to operate extremely carefully while surrounded by a £25,000 show kitchen.

The project, which took place over just three weeks, means the site has been able to re-open under a new lessee with a guarantee of a minimum of 10 years life expectancy, and probably a lot more from the tanks.

Commented Stephen Andrews: “Without the reline of our tanks there was no future for the petrol station, but following the cost effective work, we have reopened with all tanks fully functional. Our new tenant, K T Investment is delighted with the results and has, as a result, invested over £30,000 on a complete shop refit to maximise the new long term profit opportunity”.