Project Profile: Airforce Base Pave Paws Sump Repairs

Making repairs on an underground storage tank (UST) system is always a critical task, but when the system is on a high security site the need for speed, precision, and discretion is invariably higher.  That was certainly the case on a recent testing and repairs job performed by our California Refined Fuels team. We are fortunate to count the United States Military as one of our valued customers, and we take the responsibility for keeping their sites maintained and functioning smoothly very seriously. One site in particular shot to the top of our priority list this month after a routine tank inspection.

The Beale Airforce Base in California is home to one of 3 U.S. coastal sites for PAVE Phased Array Warning System (PAWS) radars. PAVE PAWS is an Air Force Command radar system that is operated by three 21st Space Wing (21 SW) squadrons for missile warning, space surveillance and satellite tracking. These radars are located at Cape Cod Air Force Station in Massachusetts, Clears Airforce Station in Alaska, and Beale Airforce Base in California. The site in question for our testing and repairs? The Beale Airforce Base.

Every 3 years underground storage tank systems are required to undergo secondary containment testing. Secondary containment is designed to contain releases from the portions of the fuel system that routinely contain product—primarily tanks and piping. In California this is known as SB 989 testing.

Call a CGRS Expert:

Matt Thomas
California Construction/
Compliance Manager
Mobile: 626.627.8316

The purpose of this testing is to confirm that the system is as liquid tight as it was when it was installed. During a routine SB 989 secondary containment test CGRS identified system concerns that pointed to the need for repairs. The technician noted that two of the sumps associated with the 40,000 gallon underground storage tanks (USTs) had failing sump penetrations. This raised an obvious concern as sump penetrations are one of the most likely places for a leak to develop within any containment system.

Prior to this discovery CGRS was already under contract with the Beale Air Force Base for compliance testing and 30-day Designated Underground Storage Tank Operator (DUSTO) inspections for this facility. Upon identifying the system failures CGRS was asked to submit a proposal to complete the repairs. As trusted contractors, CGRS was awarded the repair contract and got to work.

CGRS proceeded to remove and replace four sump penetrations (also known as entry fittings) with Bravo Systems fiberglass Retrofitting S Series.The repairs were completed in one day and an inspection with the Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) was completed just one day later. Fortunately, these repairs did not impact the site’s operations.