550 in ground tank removal advice?

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Old 04-23-13, 09:36 PM
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550 in ground tank removal advice?

the installation of my new 275 gallon basement oil tank is complete, thanks for all the advice.

now its time for step#2, removal of the old existing 550 in ground tank.
i know "proper procedure" varies depending on location but there seems to be alot of "grey area" between "proper procedure" and "reality/practicality"

my plan is to excavate to the top of the tank, cut a hole , pump out any remaining oil, clean out the sludge. once complete look for any evidence of leaking or holes, if the tank looks solid than i will file a permit for removal and get someone to remove it from the ground. if the tank is not solid i wont file a permit and try to remove it on the quiet as dealing with the state and remediation will be a horror story.

is cutting a hole in the tank and removing any small amount of oil/sludge something i could practically do myself with the proper tools?

any advice or opinions would be appreciated

thanks
 
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Old 04-24-13, 05:28 AM
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Personally I would be very concerned about cutting into the tank. An empty (or almost empty) tank has a good air/fuel mixture for fire.
Before doing anything, I would double check your insurance policy to see if it covers soil issues (pertaining to your tank).
The pros should correct me on this, but I would try and use the existing access points in the tank to first, remove any/all contents, and properly vent the tank of any fumes. There should be at least two pipes leading to the tank (probably more if you count house feed, fill up point, and air vent).

I would not under any circumstances go quietly and without permit (and I'm not just saying this because I have too). All it takes is one phone call from a neighbor, city worker, or anyone to set the ball rolling for a whole lot of trouble. In some areas, the consequences can be as high as jail time if caught dealing with environmental issues without proper permits or procedures in place.
You would be safer to leave the tank alone then to try removing it without a permit. Even this is not a good option.
 
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Old 04-24-13, 05:36 AM
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Hi 409,
There is no option to do a quiet removal. The "out of sight/out of mind" solution doesn't cover a problem being detected 10 years from now and they can go back to determine if that tank was removed properly. They know YOU have one, that is on record and some day someone may ask, gee where did it go? Every home has a file with all of the permits pulled and yours needs the permit and the clean results.

Bud
 
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Old 04-24-13, 10:59 AM
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I concur with Mike and Bud, fifty years ago you could have done it on the sly and nobody would have cared much. Not today! Get a licensed tank removal company in to do the work and make sure to get a copy of their license, contractor's bond and insurance policy BEFORE signing the contract. This is really not a DIY project.
 
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Old 04-24-13, 11:15 AM
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I concur with Mike and Bud, fifty years ago you could have done it on the sly and nobody would have cared much. Not today! Get a licensed tank removal company in to do the work and make sure to get a copy of their license, contractor's bond and insurance policy BEFORE signing the contract. This is really not a DIY project.
I bolded the very important text in this quote.

On a side note, informing your insurance company once it is all completed (permit closed) may help with your insurance rates. They monitor fuel storage tanks really closely here. I'm to inform my insurance company when I replace my tank as they don't like residential tanks (here) to be over 15yrs old.
 
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Old 04-24-13, 11:29 AM
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I'm sure one of our members will be here soon showing the issues with a tank removal....was it Pilot Dane? Whoever it was...I think it took over a year for the remediation.

Just to be clear...trying to do it on your own and then getting caught....uhhhh bad idea. Can we say HUGE FINES?
 
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Old 04-24-13, 11:39 AM
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I believe it was NJ Trooper that had his tank removed.
I don't remember it being it's own thread, so I'm doing a search for it (there was pictures and everything).
 
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Old 04-24-13, 12:12 PM
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Once a month, I used to stick our tank, check the chart to see how many gallons we actually had, logged it, and compared it to what I thought we should have, so was pretty sure that we weren't losing any oil. About 15 years ago though, I decided that it was time, so I put a tank in the garage, pumped out the buried one, and stopped using it. Then I had a decision to make, and I have a backhoe, so the answer seemed logical enough; no big deal to pull it myself. Right? Nope. I did some research, including a call to the state DEQ, and ultimately hired a licensed tank company to pull it. With it came no certification, and no guarantees, but I do have bill marked paid, showing their company name, license number, a description of the work performed, including our address and the tank's former location on the property, and a statement indicating that they inspected the excavation after the tank was pulled and found no evidence of any leakage into the ground. Is it bullet proof? I don't know, as we have never tried to sell the property, but it is in accordance with what I learned from the DEQ, so I have never second guessed myself on handling it exactly that way.
 
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Old 04-24-13, 02:27 PM
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try to remove it on the quiet as dealing with the state and remediation will be a horror story.
Posting it on the internet certainly doesn't guarantee anonymity... you will have bigger horror stories though if you do choose to remove it yourself... ultimately... eventually... most likely.

Sure, remediation can be a horror story. My tank was removed in '06 and did leak, had been leaking, and the cleanup is STILL going on...

To try and circumvent environmental laws though... you might end up paying some heavy fines and in the end STILL have to pay for remediation, if needed.
 
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