Underground oil storage tanks throughout New Jersey were the norm for heating homes and businesses for generations. However, with the rise of natural gas as a source for heating fuel, underground heating oil tanks are becoming increasingly obsolete. If not removed, inactive or “orphaned”, underground oil tanks can create a variety of problems. These problems include contamination to both subsurface soil and groundwater as well as potential impacts to interior home air and potable water contamination. Underground oil tanks contain vent pipes that allow passive ventilation of the oil fumes from within the tank. However, these vents also expose the inside of the tank to outside elements, such as moisture in the air. Over an extended period, these elements, when combined with moisture and water in soils surrounding the UST itself, will start to rust and corrode the tank from the inside and outside. If the bottom of the tank rusts through and the tank’s contents begin to leak into the surrounding soil and groundwater, it can produce an expensive and messy cleanup process for the owner of the property.
Complete Oil Tank Disposal Solutions & Advantages
At Firstech Environmental our oil tank removal services are designed to clear your property of any oil tanks that may be a threat to your property. The only 100% effective solution to ensure that your property is not compromised due to leaking oil is complete oil tank removal. Our oil tank specialists are leading providers of oil tank removal services in New Jersey. With decades of experience and a skilled team, we can complete nearly all oil tank removal projects in just one day. Some of the other advantages associated with oil tank services include:
- Protection of the environment
- Protects and increases property value
- May save the property owner from extremely costly soil and water remediation processes
Advantages Working with a NJDEP Certified Oil Tank Service Company
With over 20 years of experience as oil tank solution specialists within the state of New Jersey, Firstech Environmental has the knowledge and wherewithal to provide oil tank removal services for any job, no matter how complex. However, there are other companies out there without significant experience, or those that are trying to make a quick-buck without putting in the necessary work. There are several things to look for when searching for a reputable oil tank closure company like Firstech, they include:
- Will the tank removal contract ensure that someone will be on-site for the UST removal who is NJDEP licensed for compliance purposes?
- Does the tank removal contract assume the tank is leaking and have a fixed cost to collect samples?
- The contract does not include the collection and analysis of soil samples form an on-site NJDEP subsurface evaluator for the purpose of NJDEP Compliance should evidence of a UST discharge be identified.
- The determining decision if the oil tank leaked is made via the construction inspection.
The Oil Tank Removal Process
To avoid the lengthy and layered expenses of an environmental cleanup process it is important to consider oil tank removal services. As a New Jersey based company, Firstech Environmental is NJDEP certified and has the capabilities to provide premium, start-to-finish oil tank solutions for your tank disposal needs. From filing the initial municipal tank removal permit applications to completing the final paperwork, we handle every step of the tank removal process. The following schedule provides an example of what a typical oil tank disposal project will consist of:
Safety is a major concern when it comes to oil tank removal. The Firstech team utilizes all the necessary personal protective equipment when cutting open the top of the exposed tank and throughout all work associated with your oil tank removal project.
Fully equipped with respirators, Tyvek™ suits, and rubber boots and gloves, Firstech Environmental personnel safely enter the open tank to remove any remaining sludge.
Using the latest approved technology, the tank is removed from the ground. We use proven processes to minimize disturbance to both the tank and the surrounding area. Once the tank is removed, it is placed on the ground nearby to await the township inspector. Following inspection, the tank is removed from the property and disposed of via state-approved methods.
The general excavation area for a 550 gallon tank is approximately 6' x 8'. After inspection, the excavation area is backfilled with certified clean fill material. Approximately two weeks after the completion of your oil tank removal project, Firstech will provide you with a comprehensive oil tank closure report that includes copies of all certifications and disposal tickets.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Oil Tank Removal
If you have questions regarding your underground oil tank, or the oil tank removal process we have created a FAQ list for easy reference for your oil tank solution needs.
Q: Why do underground heating oil tanks corrode?
A: Corrosion is caused by the inherent tendency of iron based metals that most all heating oil underground storage tanks are comprised of, to revert to a stable form. This stable form is what you know as rust. When and how fast steel turns to rust is dependent on a wide site specific variety of variables such as soil moisture, pH acidity, backfill material, physical location of the tank, the thickness of the tank, amount of water in the tank, age of the tank.
Q: Why are underground heating oil tanks a concern?
A: Oil tanks have a finite life expectancy and when corrosion holes breach the tank shell or the welded seams of the tank fail, petroleum or other contaminants, will leach into the environment.
Q: Why test an underground heating oil tank?
A: Testing heating oil Underground Storage Tanks, (USTs) allows home buyers to complete their Due Diligence Investigation, concerning the integrity of the underground petroleum storage tanks and limit potential liability related to investigating and/or remediating UST leaks.
Q: What is the process if the tank is leaking?
A: Initially, the severity of the problem should be determined as the extent of the leak will determine the extent of remediation required. A delineation (diagnosis) is typically performed after an oil tank leak is found. When an underground heating oil tank is removed and found to be leaking, the next question that needs to be answered is how large or small of an area will require remediation.
Q: What are the cleanup steps associated with a heating oil tank leak?
A: If there is an underground storage tank that must be removed, it will be removed according to municipal codes and the American Petroleum Institute’s recommended practices. Your municipality will require a construction permit to remove the tank. The tank will be thoroughly cleaned of residual fuel/sludge prior to removal. Once the tank has been removed, and if evidence of a leak is documented, the NJDEP will be notified of the discharge and the consultant should take soil samples that will be collected by a licensed NJDEP subsurface evaluator in accordance with applicable NJDEP regulations to quantify the severity of the discharge. A NJDEP certified laboratory will analyze the samples, and the results will be compared to the NJDEP’s soil cleanup criteria to determine if remediation is required. In an effort to reduce costs, the soil samples will dictate if any cleanup is required rather than a visual observation.
Q: What are the costs to remediate a tank leak?
A: Generally, a small tank leak requiring only soil testing and regulatory reporting etc., can run up to the $3,000 range. Costs can incrementally increase by thousands of dollars or more based on the extent of impacted soil and/or groundwater requiring remediation.
Q: What does it cost to remove an oil tank?
A: The cost to remove an oil tank is directly related to the tank’s size and location/accessibility at the property. Generally, smaller tanks (290 gallon) are less expensive to remove than larger tanks (1,000 gallon). Location is also a factor; a tank under a lawn is less costly to remove than one that may be underneath a deck or patio, which would require removal and replacement of the patio or deck.
Feel Free to Call Firstech Environmental for Tank Removal Services
Firstech Environmental is the only resource you need for complete, start-to-finish oil tank removal. We frequently provide one-day service for projects throughout New Jersey. If you have questions regarding oil tank removal, click here to request a quote or contact us to learn more.