The nation’s regulating agency said that 18 percent of all service stations showed deficiencies in quality and quantity during the last year.
The agency, the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos, has a special section that checks up on gas stations. There are 346 such establishments in the country, and the Intendencia de Energía conducted 1,471 inspections, said the Autoridad. They found 45 problems with quality and 40 with quantity.
In 2012 there were only 47 inspection problems uncovered, said the agency.
All the deficiencies were confined to just 65 stations, including some of the better known ones. The agency said that many of the problems stemmed from lack of maintenance on pumps.
A quantity problem would be in delivering an amount of gasoline below the accepted variation, which is 100 milliliters, about 3.4 ounces, for 20 liters of fuel pumped.
Quality problems included water or sediment in the gasoline or lower octane than specified on the tank. Such variations also were attributed in some cases to lack of maintenance of the tank or filters.
Three beachtown service stations pumped gasoline of an incorrect color. Fishing captains can obtain fuel at discount prices, but the liquid is colored purple and diesel is colored green. Regular gasoline is supposed to be colored orange and diesel is supposed to be yellow, said the agency.
Stations that put fishing fleet fuel in the tanks can lose their license to sell gasoline and diesel.
There were only two problems encountered at service stations in Guanacaste and just one in Limón.
Service station San Luis in Alajuelita racked up nine separate violations, said the Authoridad. The service station Finca Los Rosales del Divino Niño in Grecia had three violations, said the agency.
A report on the inspections is available on the agency Web page.