Removal of an oil tank is a big job that requires equipment that is sure to last, as well as trained workers. Many homeowners have removed hundreds of tanks around the Southeast and brought back the sites to pre-incident condition. Those who own land can handle each aspect of the procedure themselves:
First, they must locate the underground oil tanks. They may be located on a property, or may be buried under the ground. If the tanks are located underground, the homeowner must use an underground tank removal company. In many cases, the homeowner will locate the location by using sonar or other surveying tools.
Once the homeowner has located the oil tanks, the next step is to determine whether the property is a commercial or residential property. Oil Tank Removal Ulster County NY companies use different equipment for both residential and commercial properties. For residential oil tanks, homeowners will only need access to the underground space, as well as a truck or tractor-trailer equipped with the proper equipment for moving the oil tank to the desired site. For commercial oil tanks, which may be located on a property, or even located on a pier, a drilling contractor is required by law to obtain written permission from the property’s owner before taking any action. A typical residential oil tank removal will only require access to the underground space, while a commercial oil tank removal may require demolition of part of the structure, as well as the removal of the tank itself. Professional tank removal companies are also experienced in removing damaged oil tanks, or leaking tanks, safely and effectively.
Next, the oil tank will usually need to be cleaned of any debris, which could compromise the quality of the removal or cause additional problems later on. Cleaning most underground tanks involves a variety of methods, ranging from simple cleaning to chemical degreasing and pumping with a high-pressure water jet. It is important that the cleaning team to get access to the area where the tank is being removed, so that they can avoid damaging or injuring anyone who may be working nearby. Also, if there are vent pipes left connected to the pump or other parts, these need to be carefully removed and properly secured, before the removal and replacement of any parts begin.
Once all the possible dangers have been addressed, the area where the oil tank removal is taking place should be declared safe for workers and visitors. This can be done using various environmental issues, including temporary fences and warning tape. Signs should also be posted in locations where the tank or leak may have occurred, so that visitors know not to come too close. Temporary shelter should be provided in order to meet any emergency demands from people or equipment. The presence of emergency personnel is another reason that it is important to declare a no-fly zone over an oil tank removal site.
Once the site has been declared safe for an oil tank removal, the actual extraction process begins. Experts in this field have a number of different tools available to them for the job, which is essential in determining whether the tanks pose no risk to the environment, and whether they can safely and securely be removed. There are two types of tank removal methods – wet or dry. A wet method involves using booms and absorbent socks or pads to remove the material from the bottom of the tank without causing any damage to the ground or anything else. If the tank is not moving or draining, then the method uses a drain penetrator to remove the water and other material from the bottom.
Dry oil tank removal methods involve pumping the ground to break up the ground surface, and using an excavator to dig up the area. This can take days, but the process itself does not compromise the environment in any way, nor does it cause damage to the soil or other surrounding areas. The method used in breaking up the ground will also affect how much of the contaminated oil can be removed, as will the thickness of the soil layer that must be extracted. Another consideration to keep in mind with this type of oil tank leak is the likelihood of any groundwater contamination coming from the affected site. Oil that is not properly removed can end up clogging aquifers and possibly contaminating drinking water, which is not something any homeowner wants to find out about. Groundwater is especially sensitive, as it is used by many local communities to help keep their parks and lakes clean, and it is difficult if not impossible to clean up contaminated groundwater.
Before oil tank removal, it is important to make sure the area is cleaned up and the site monitored to ensure no further contamination occurs. Once the removal process is complete, there is no need to store fuel in the area, as the spilled oil will dissolve naturally within a few days. After the cleanup is done and the area is properly documented, any leftover fuel can be disposed of at a safer site. The best way to find out if your community has a stringent oil tank removal policy is to ask the local air quality office for a copy of their guidelines for the safe storage and handling of oil.