Over time, rust, water, and bacteria will settle into a thick sludge at the bottom of your old oil tank. This sludge can cause soil contamination, which could lead to health hazards and decreased property value. After above-ground or underground oil tank removal, soil analysis is critical for homeowners to ensure that the soil underneath their homes doesn’t become poisoned.
When soil analysis reveals contamination from a leaking or abandoned oil tank, remediation must occur. This process includes digging out the tank, removing and disposing of the piping and cleaning up the surrounding soil. Remediation can be costly. However, it’s important to have a professional contractor perform the job correctly to minimize environmental risks and ensure you comply with the law. A contractor will carefully do a soil sampling Orange County NY, from around the perimeter of the oil tank site. They will also sample from locations close to the stained soil, ensuring the results accurately represent the area. They will then send the samples to a certified lab to be analyzed for extractable total petroleum hydrocarbons (ETPH). There are several different types of remediation. One option is to dig out the polluted soil, haul it away and put it in a proper landfill. It is called soil matrix cleanup. Another option is to cover low-impact heating oil tank sites. It is called risk-based decision-making cleanup and allows some of the contamination to remain in the soil as long as it’s surrounded by clean material.
If you have a home with an underground oil tank, the tank can leak into the soil. This contamination can affect the health and safety of those living on your property and the selling value of the house or business. If the contamination is found, specific regulations must be followed for cleanup. It is important to have your soil tested after tank removal. The test will determine the severity of the contamination and if it poses a risk to those in the area. The tank removal company should take soil samples from each hole after the excavation and place them separately in a container. They should then send the samples to a lab for testing. Once the results are received, they will let you know whether or not the contamination is present and will follow any additional requirements based on that result. It is an important step to ensure the safety of those on your property and the surrounding environment.
Soil analysis provides valuable information on many parameters like chemical content, toxicity, pH level, salinity, earth-dwelling biota and the soil’s physical properties. For agriculture and horticulture, the most important soil test is a chemical one that reports on the levels of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Additional nutrients tested include calcium (Ca), sulfur (S) and magnesium (Mg). A soil sample for analysis should be taken to a depth of normal tillage or rooting, depending on the crop. The soil should be dry and free of clumps of mud or gravel. The sample should be collected from at least two areas in a field with low vegetation, and the results should be averaged. Soil samples are also analyzed for water pH, Mehlich buffer lime requirement, humic acid content, exchangeable acidity, and the soil’s texture classification (sand, loam, silt or clay). In addition to these standard tests, some labs also provide biological testing to analyze the active population of microbes in the soil.
The company that removes your underground oil tank can do the soil sampling. They will take a sample of the soil from each hole and each side of the excavation. Then, they will send the samples to a certified lab for analysis. The standard turnaround is 14 days. You want to sell your home and have been told a buried oil tank is on the property. You are worried about a potential environmental issue and want iron-clad data proving the tank did not leak. The best way to determine if an oil tank leaking into the ground has occurred is to conduct a soil test. It will tell you if the soil has been contaminated and whether remediation is needed. If your soil tests show no contamination, you will have more peace of mind when selling the property.