A Glimpse beneath the Sheetz

Site under construction reveals convenience store infrastructure

ELKIN, N.C. -- A Sheetz gas station being built in Elkin, N.C., is generating a bit of interest from residents who rarely get to see what lies beneath such sites.

In an impromptu walk through, Dan Glass of Sheetz provided the Elkin Tribune a snapshot of the infrastructure installed beneath the station.

According to Glass, most Sheetz gas stations are built with the fueling installation underground. Multiple fuel tanks are usually deployed underground where tanks store multiple blends of fuel.

“It’s a work of marvel,” said Glass, who said he notices at times the faces of children who stand outside the fencing to take a look at the work being done.

“The blue plastic you see throughout the entire site have pipes in it. It’s literally how the gas makes its way from the tanks into the pumps,” said Glass.

According to Glass, fuel usually is offloaded from a tanker truck into the tanks through a separate valve, located on the filling station’s perimeter. Three large tanks totaling 52,000 gallons are buried underneath the station. Fuel from the tanks travels to the dispenser pumps through underground pipes all armed with sensors.

“One tank will fill 87 octane. The other will store 92/93 octane. The third will hold a mixture blend of the two,” he said. “All you’ll see [when construction is complete] are manholes. Everything is buried. The black pieces are called fills. That’s where all the fuel goes down.”

According to Glass, the building of a typical Sheetz gas station can take about 16 weeks to compete.

The Elkin Sheetz is scheduled to open in mid-January.

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