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How to Streamline Gas Station Fuel Tank Replacement

fuel tank replacement

How do you take the complexity (and frustration) out of replacing an old fuel tank at a gas station or convenience store, and make it as simple as possible? Because once you get that tank out of the ground, anything can happen.

What’s a Site Assessment, and what are they for?

First, when you’re buying a property you must do a Phase I & and possibly a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA).

Phase I ESA determines the likelihood of site contamination, and includes evaluating site documents, talking to occupants and neighbors, and a physical site inspection. If all’s well, the assessment ends there. (And you breathe a sigh of relief.)

But if the Phase I investigation finds a potential contamination, then a Phase II ESA, a site investigation, begins. This Phase II involves sampling questionable areas of soil or groundwater, etc. Samples are sent to a lab for analysis, and if proven necessary, remediation begins.

And while yes, all that ESA investigating can potentially turn into an expensive bother, it’s protecting you against significant long-term costs and unpleasant environmental liabilities. And besides. It’s required by law.

My soil is fine. Now how do I get the Fuel Tank out of the ground?

If you’re lifting the existing fuel tank(s) out of the ground at your gas station or convenience store, your pump and tank contractor will have site drawings and ground penetrating radar to figure out where everything is before digging. For the most part, things go pretty well.

Pump and tank contractors do all the digging, electrical work, and mechanical work. But they can’t do anything with the tank itself.

Once the tank is exposed, a separate company cuts a hole in the top of the tank and cleans it in place. Once clean, the fuel tank gets lifted out of the ground, and the soil or gravel below is inspected by the state regulatory people to see if it’s been impacted by any leakage from the tank.

What do I do with the old Tank and Contaminated Soil?

If that dreaded soil contamination shows up in the process, you’ll need to have a company that can remove the contaminated soil, as well as the old tank.

So instead of hiring a separate company for just disposing the tank, and another for removing any contaminated soil, look for a reliable company that can clean out the tank while it’s in the ground, and take away the old tank, and remove and safely dispose of any contaminated soil.

Keep things simple and streamlined.

And if the same company also provides Phase I and II ESA assessments, that’s unbeatable.

So avoid complexity and make removing an old fuel tank at a gas station actually convenient. Because both before and after you get that tank out of the ground, you need things done right.