Large remote operating sites such as mines store significant quantities of fuel to support the operation of hundreds of pieces of equipment. Some northern operations are only accessible via remote roads or in some cases ice roads for a very short period of time during the coldest months of the year.
The risk of extended storage of diesel fuel include oxidation of the fuel, microbial contamination and cold temperature service. Fuel quality is a core issue related to operating efficiency and engine component failure. Seasonality often is reflected in the service costs related to heavy diesel equipment operating on site. Injector failures may occur more frequently when storage tanks are getting low or during their refill. Low tanks may be picking up sludge contamination resulting in injector failure. Filling the tank may stir up contaminants resulting in the same outcome.
These tanks are also exposed to the same risk as any tank containing sludge - microbial influenced corrosion could potentially result in a premature tank failure.
Ultimately, expensive filter equipment preventing sludge from reaching equipment downstream is one common plan of action however, this doe not address the issue. As a tank become more contaminated over time (and it will as the existing sludge plays a role in the oxidation of the fuel) filter replacement costs grow as they fail sooner and ultimately results in the disposal of expensive fuel and the mechanical cleaning on the tank.