Underground Storage tank removal is typically divided into two categories, tanks that are leaking and tanks that are not. Tests are typically made prior to removal with the proper professionals involved, to see if the tank has been leaking and whether or not it has contaminated the soils surrounding. A permit is typically required from the EPA and any state or local jurisdictions who want to be involved in the process.

The process for removal is typically the following.

  • Excavate to the top of the tank.
  • Disconnect any attached pipes.
  • Open all vents on the tank and access ports.
  • Remove the liquids, sludge, or contents from inside the tank, typically by pumping them out into a container or vehicle tanker of some sort.
  • Create an access area in the tank and send the proper certified persons inside wearing personal protection equipment to clean the interior of the tank.
  • Excavate the soil surrounding the tank.
  • Pull out the tank in one piece or in pieces as necessary.
  • Test the soil for contaminants such as Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes (BTEX), MTBE, Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), and Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Sometimes a Photo-Ionization Detector (PID) will be used to detect samples.
  • Then the hole is backfilled and site cleaned of any and all contaminated material.
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