Many of the labs under the SC AG domain, also benefit South Carolinians, and one in particular is the Petroleum Lab.
“All South Carolinians do benefit from the Petroleum Lab. We check the quality of the gasoline that we are putting in our tanks, as well as the octane and water content.
I have a letter here from February from a consumer asking us to go out and check a specific pump. We did and we found water in the gasoline. It is the lab that consumer services gets called out for to do the most work.
They do about 4-5000 samples per year and then on each of those it’s about 4-5 tests.
They also look at the presence of gasoline in kerosene, mixed together. Unfortunately we have seen that mix cause accidents and fires. It’s our job to check any mix ups of storage as well.
If we do find something, like in the case of water in the gasoline, we contact the retailer, red tag the pump and they have to correct the problem. We do our best to respond quickly so that more consumers are not affected, but also so the retailer can fix the problem. We try to be out at the problem within 24 hours, depending on the distance.
We also test anti-freeze. You want to know that the quality is what you are buying. Late in spring we also analyze coolants. And now that we know that there are different blends of gasoline as the months go by, especially in the summer months, we need to be aware of what is being sold at the pumps and retool the analysis.”