Underground storage tanks (USTs) can pose a problem for home and business owners. Although those that exist solely to store heating fuel that will be consumed are usually exempted from federal regulations, many areas have enacted state or local regulations that do apply to these tanks. If you own a home or business with an underground storage tank, the following information will answer many of the questions you may have.
What are the dangers of leaving an underground storage tank in place?
Most underground storage tanks designed to hold some type of fuel are constructed from metal. Even though most of these tanks are coated with special paints or treated to help them resist corrosion, they will eventually rust through and begin to leak. Since most USTs will still contain small amounts of residual fuel or oil, even when they are no longer being actively used, there is always a risk of leakage into the surrounding soil. As a result, it's best to have USTs removed.
How is leakage confirmed?
In many areas, regulations exist that must be followed exactly in order to avoid any spillage or leakage during the extraction that could result in harm to the environment. Many state and local regulations call for the area to be inspected by a qualified inspector for leakage before the extraction is done and then again afterward. In addition, if the removal contractor notes any sign of leakage or spillage during the extraction process, they may be mandated to report it.
Unfortunately, if the storage tanks have been in place for a long time and have corroded or received some sort of damage, there may already be some areas of the tank that are actively leaking into the surrounding soil.
How is the UST removed from the property?
In most cases, a properly qualified contractor will handle the extraction. After the initial inspection of the property has been completed, the contractor will remove the soil, exposing a portion of the tank's top.
After cutting away a section of the top, the contractor will enter the tank or use a camera system to asses the condition of the tank and the amount of abandoned fuel that must be dealt with. These steps will be followed by pumping out the tank before it and all associated connections and pipes are removed. Once the secondary inspection is completed, the contractor will refill the area and restore the grade of the surface.
To learn more, contact a company like A & A Oil Recovery Co.