SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1993

How Well Do Leak Detection Methods Work?: Preliminary Results from the EPA Test Procedures


In 1990, EPA released a series of “Standard Test Procedures for Evaluating Leak Detection Methods” to define consistent, rigorous procedures for determining the performance of underground storage tank leak detection methods. Each test procedure outlines one or more ways to evaluate the performance of a class of leak detection devices. Liquid- and vapor-phase detectors are tested for their ability to detect the presence of petroleum components in controlled laboratory settings. Pipeline leak detectors, tightness testing methods and automatic tank gauging systems are tested for their ability to reliably differentiate between non-leaking systems and systems with simulated leaks of specified sizes. Statistical inventory reconciliation methods are tested using real inventory data from tight tanks, including some simulated leaks. The results of these preliminary evaluations are discussed and compared. The test procedures allow manufacturers to demonstrate the effectiveness of their methods and help tank owners to ensure that the equipment or service they purchase complies with applicable regulatory requirements.

Author Information

Young, TM
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Developed by Committee: E50
Pages: 139–150
DOI: 10.1520/STP25081S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5224-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1858-4