Underground Storage Oil Tank Removal or Abandonment (U.S.T)
Many underground heating oil tanks are no longer in use. These unused tanks can pose problems for both property owners and the environment. A leaking tank can cause several serious problems for the owner and others, such as:
- Contamination of surface waters;
- Contamination of groundwater, which could potentially be drinking water;
- Contamination of the soil on the primary and adjacent properties;
- Collapse of old or unused underground heating oil tanks causing sinkholes.
Property owners can be found liable for contamination caused by a leaking tank. There are two main areas of legal regulatory concern regarding heating oil tanks, one dealing with environmental contamination and the other with fire and safety issues. Heating oil tanks shall be decommissioned by using one of the following processes:
- Removal from the ground and restoration of the site in an approved manner.
- Abandonment in place by filling the tank completely with an approved, inert solid material.
- Register and deregister required for over 1,100 total capacity (Commercial only)
Removal or Decommissioning a Heating Oil Tank
- Determine what is in the tank. By inserting a long stick to the bottom of the tank, the depth of the oil inside can be determined. Because it is possible for water to be inside, which can indicate a leak in the tank, a paste that changes color when it contacts water can be placed on the stick.
- Call in for mark out of underground utilities.
- Mobilization / Demobilization of all equipment.
- Break up asphalt or cement above tank area.
- Excavate, cut tank open, clean and remove bottom sludge’s.
- Pump and dispose of liquids #2 oil from each tank and legally dispose of via vacuum truck.
- Removal of fills and vent pipes.
- Test soils for contamination. (Commercial only- Soil testing may be required underneath removed tank-Suffolk County requirement)
- Remove and dispose of tank at a licensed recycler.
- Backfill excavation to grade upon removal of tank.
- Final disposal manifest should be provided.
All work performed and waste disposal will be handled following strict Local, State and Federal Regulations.