The Process

Process for Decommissioning Oil Tanks

There are several different procedures that occur when removing or decommissioning underground fuel tanks. What you can expect from each process…

Tank Removal: The Process

  1. Obtain the necessary local permits. Contact the local fire, planning or building departments for information on local requirements.
  2. Find out what product is in the tank (heating oil, kerosene, waste oil, water, etc.). If anything other than heating oil or water is discovered in a tank, the tank is handled as a regulated tank, including making appropriate notifications to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Local permitting requirements might also be different than those for a heating oil tank.
  3. Have the residual heating oil and fluids pumped from the tank. Any material which cannot be recycled must be disposed of in accordance with applicable Federal and State regulations.
  4. Triple rinse the tank to remove residual product and bottom sludge or sediments as much as possible.
  5. The vent pipe and fill pipes are cut off or removed below grade and capped.
  6. Carefully dig down to the top of the tank to prevent possible damage to buried utilities (telephone, natural gas, water, etc.). Note any potentially contaminated soils and separate them from clean soils. Contaminated soils must be disposed of according to applicable State and local regulations. If the heating oil has reached adjoining properties; affected a well or groundwater; caused vapor problems in nearby buildings; or has caused extensive soil contamination our staff will inform you. If a tank has leaked, the Washington State Department of Ecology regional office may have reporting requirements based on the extent of contamination found. Minor leaks or spills from residential heating oil tanks do not have to be reported to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Minor leaks are those that affect only the soil near the tank.
  7. The tank is transport off-site, then cut and cleaned and delivered to a metal recycling facility as scrap metal.
  8. The hole is then back-filled with stable product such as sand and compacted. The ground cover and/or sod can be replaced. We leave the job site in a clean and neat condition.
  9. Certificates and reports are issued upon receipt of payment.

Slurry Fill: The Process

  1. Obtain the necessary local permits. Contact the local fire, planning or building departments for information on local requirements.
  2. Find out what product is in the tank (heating oil, kerosene, waste oil, water, etc.). If anything other than heating oil or water is discovered in a tank, the tank is handled as a regulated tank, including making appropriate notifications to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Local Permitting requirements might also be different than those for a heating oil tank.
  3. Have the residual heating oil and fluids pumped from the tank. Any material which cannot be recycled must be disposed of in accordance with applicable Federal and State regulations.
  4. Triple rinse the tank to remove residual product and bottom sludge or sediments as much as possible.
  5. The vent pipe and fill pipes are cut off or removed below grade and capped.
  6. The tank is filled with an inert solid material such as a lean concrete mix. The slurry is pumped into the tank through the filler pipe or a hole that has been cut at the top of the tank.
  7. After completion of a job, a certification letter is issued upon receipt of payment.

Foam Fill*: The Process

  1. Obtain the necessary local permits. Contact the local fire, planning or building departments for information on local requirements.
  2. Find out what product is in the tank (heating oil, kerosene, waste oil, water, etc.). If anything other than heating oil or water is discovered in a tank, the tank is handled as a regulated tank, including making appropriate notifications to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Local Permitting requirements might also be different than those for a heating oil tank.
  3. Have the residual heating oil and fluids pumped from the tank. Any material which cannot be recycled must be disposed of in accordance with applicable Federal and State regulations.
  4. Triple rinse the tank to remove residual product and bottom sludge or sediments as much as possible.
  5. The tank is filled with polyurethane foam an inert material which becomes solid. The liquid mixture conforms to the shape of the tank and as it expands and hardens.
  6. The vent pipe and fill pipes are cut off or removed below grade and capped.
  7. After completion of a job, a certification letter is issued upon receipt of payment.

*Foam filling is permitted in most jurisdictions. The local Fire Chief or Fire Marshal establishes the requirements or procedures for dealing with heating oil tanks that are not longer in service. (Reference: Uniform Fire Code, Section 7902. 1.7.2.3)

Sand Fill*: The Process

  1. Obtain the necessary local permits. Contact the local fire, planning or building departments for information on local requirements.
  2. Find out what product is in the tank (heating oil, kerosene, waste oil, water, etc.). If anything other than heating oil or water is discovered in a tank, the tank is handled as a regulated tank, including making appropriate notifications to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Local Permitting requirements might also be different than those for a heating oil tank.
  3. Have the residual heating oil and fluids pumped from the tank. Any material which cannot be recycled must be disposed of in accordance with applicable Federal and State regulations.
  4. Triple rinse the tank to remove residual product and bottom sludge or sediments as much as possible.
  5. A hole is dug down to the tank, and sand is pour into the tank through the hole that has been cut at the top of the tank.
  6. The vent pipe and fill pipes are cut off or removed below grade and capped.
  7. After completion of a job, a certification letter is issued upon receipt of payment.

*Sand filling is permitted in most jurisdictions. The local Fire Chief or Fire Marshal establishes the requirements or procedures for dealing with heating oil tanks that are not longer in service. (Reference: Uniform Fire Code, Section 7902. 1.7.2.3)