There are 3 main causes of diesel fuel contamination. We categorize theses contaminants into 3 categories; water, inorganic debris, organic debris and the over use of additives. The largest source of contamination is water. Water enters the tank through numerous openings, however we have found the most common place of water intrusion are the fill ports and spill buckets.
Spill Bucket Picture:
Water: Fresh Water has numerous effects on Diesel Fuel. Once water enters the fuel tank and it drops to the bottom, microbes began to grow in a very short amount of time. Within a few weeks of water intrusion you can expect to see large amounts of a gooey type substance in filters, fuel lines, tanks bottoms and pick ups.
Water: Salt Water can cause catastrophic effects on diesel fuel. If salt water enters diesel fuel tanks in large quantities the diesel fuel has to be removed and replaced. The reason for this is salt causes the fuel to be “salted” causing irreversible damage to the fuel.
Inorganic Debris: Debris in diesel fuel can pose accelerated deterioration, environmental hazards and most importantly cause damage to engines.
Organic Debris: Microbial growth is a by product of water entering the tank causing a environment that allows micro organisms to grow. Once microbial growth begins to grow, it omits acids, causes large formation of masses and begins further deterioration of diesel fuel.
Additives: The over use of additives is becoming a larger source of contamination in diesel fuel. Many consumers over treat diesel fuel causing the fuel to lose its ability to shed water. Once diesel fuel has been over treated with additives it causes irreversible effects. In many cases diesel fuel must be disposed of in this instance.