So you can be sure that the gas at the dispenser is free of water and impurities

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – With today’s rising gas prices, drivers want to know if they’re getting what they pay for at the pump or if the fuel they bought is contaminated.

The state of North Carolina has a fleet of inspectors to make sure you’re not running on substandard gas.

Before you stop at a gas pump, someone will check the quality of the gas you put in your tank.

Most drivers, like Charle LeFort, are unaware that such surveillance exists. He said “he didn’t know” that the state controls gas station fuel.

On Friday, consumer researcher Steve Sbraccia accompanied state fuel inspector Robert Marble on an unannounced visit to a Raleigh gas station.

It’s one of 4,509 stations overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture nationwide with a team of 10 inspectors.

Marble takes samples from the pumps to test them in a mobile lab that he drives to every location he visits.

He evaluates samples on site, looking for water in the gasoline, sediment contamination, or fuel that doesn’t match its octane rating.

Marble said if he discovered a problem with a gas station’s fuel supply, he had the authority to stop selling immediately.

“We can shut down the fuel they sell,” he said.

Although the law provides for fines, they are rarely imposed.

“We find that when we close the pumps, it hits them a lot harder because some of those gas stations can spend more than $100,000 a day,” said Marcus Helfrich, head of the state fuel laboratory.

Consumer complaints about bad gas are the inspectors’ top priority.

“We aim to get there within 24 hours, or sometimes the same day,” Marble said. “The quicker we show up on a complaint, the quicker we can find the problem, if it exists.”

In 2021, the state fuel department examined more than 17,000 gasoline samples.

“A single fuel sample can fail multiple quality specifications when tested,” said Helfrich. “As a result, the station is issued multiple convictions for a single fuel sample.”

Of the 17,688 samples tested found the state 15.6 percent contained water. Just over 18 percent contained sediment and 18.7 percent had the octane rating the product should have.

It is important that your fuel has the correct octane rating as this will help you with mileage.

The fuel inspectors also checked diesel fuel, kerosene and motor oil.

In addition to testing for water, sediment and octane levels, the state tests fuel for vapor content, amount of ethanol blend and what is known as phase separation.

Phase separation is when ethanol absorbs the water causing it to separate from the gasoline and sink to the bottom of the tank.

https://www.cbs17.com/news/investigators/how-you-can-be-confident-gas-at-the-pump-is-free-of-water-contaminants/ So you can be sure that the gas at the dispenser is free of water and impurities


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