insights

Russell Dupuy 06 Jul 2017 By Russell Dupuy

Six simple ways to avoid inconclusive status calls on SIR reports

Don’t let unknown or inconclusive inventory data put your site at risk

Building a complete picture of your site’s operating environment doesn’t have to be a burden. However, so many of the site owners and organisations we speak with operate their site without having their fuel inventory data at their fingertips.

Without visibility of what is going on inside your site’s underground fuel tanks, petrol site owners need to rely on the data generated by a SIR report to manage their inventory.

But what happens if your inventory data is inconclusive?

If the data quality of the tank is too poor, your SIR report will declare your tank’s status as inconclusive. While this doesn’t mean that your tank has failed by EPA standards… it hasn’t passed either.

In our experience, inconclusive fuel inventory data is worse than a fail. If your tank fails a SIR report, the data is often clear enough to indicate where the problem lies (such as the presence of a leak), so the problem can be resolved more quickly. However, an inconclusive SIR report is generated by either a lack of data or poor quality data, which means you have no way of knowing if there are problems within your fuel system.

The only way to determine if your fuel system is safe to continue using is through further investigation, which can be time consuming and costly.

Unfortunately, because an inconclusive SIR report result is not exactly a fail, many site owners disregard the severity of this result.

There’s a mindset that the worst case scenario “will never happen to me” because, at face value, the fuel system is running fine. However, without accurate inventory data there is a lack of clear understanding of the fuel systems health.

6 simple ways to avoid inconclusive status calls on your SIR report:

1. Submit your data to your SIR provider by the cut-off date

While it sounds simple enough, many site owners who run a busy forecourt forget to submit their data. Remember that without data, you have no means of leak detection.

2. Submit your data everyday

To get an accurate idea of what is going on in your tanks, you need to be recording your inventory data for every day that your fuel site is operational.

3. Ensure that your data is good quality

  • Make sure that your staff are trained in the correct procedures
  • If you use a dipstick, make sure that you are dipping it at the same time every day
  • Reconcile your end-of-day tasks at the same time every day
  • If you notice a discrepancy in your tank inventory, double check your results immediately

4. Check that all of your equipment is in good working order

  • Is your dipstick bent or worn?
  • Are all of the sales reconciling to the POS?
  • Have there been any fuel related customer complaints (e.g. slow pumps)?

5. Check that the correct data is being recorded

  • Is the data being recorded against the correct tank?
  • Is the correct delivery volume being recorded?
  • Has there been a grade change to a tank recently?

6. Check that your SIR provider has the correct site configuration

Ensure that you inform your SIR provider of any changes or required maintenance to your fuel system.

What can this mean for my site?

If a SIR report generates an inconclusive status call, the site owner is legally required to investigate. Sites that don’t comply can end up in deep legal trouble when the EPA audits their site.

If you’re a site owner, one of your objectives should be to ensure your SIR reports always come back conclusive. This allows you to confirm whether or not your tank is running as it should be, and allows you to better improve and prepare for unexpected fuel scenarios in the future.

Even with a ‘failed’ status call, you will have a better idea of where to start an investigation.

Best of all, a passed status call means you don’t need to take any further action, allowing you to better use your time and money elsewhere.

Concerned about receiving an inconclusive SIR report on one of your fuel tanks? Or want to gain complete visibility of what’s going on inside your tank so you can make better purchasing decisions and improve your margins? We’re here to help.

To get the latest updates and discover how you can improve your fuel inventory management, contact EMS today.