Going Green in 11968>Question Details

Ann, Home Buyer in Westchester, IL

I need to replace an oil storage tank. and septic system. What should I know.?

Asked by Ann, Westchester, IL Fri Feb 13, 2009

What are the regs and do I need a permit. Who can do the job?

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Even though your ID is IL, your question is posted in the section for the Hamptons and North Fork area of Long Island, New York, which is where I work. So I'm not quite sure where your home is located, but maybe it's a second home here, so the answers below assume that's the case and even if not, hopefully will be useful.

Most residential underground oil tanks (metal) are generally less than 1000 gallon tanks and therefore, are considered unregulated tanks. (Only commercial tanks under 1,100 gallons are regulated.) Regular inspections are not required therefore, however, an unregulated tank that is tested and fails a tightness test is reported to the state regulatory authority (NYSDEC or NJDEP) as a spill site, and specific guidelines must be followed for removal. A tank that is more than 20 years old should be tested every 2 years, but given that a pressure test can itself create a leak, most owners are reluctant to do it. Tanks that are out of service for a particular period of time are required to be removed according the guidelines mentioned above or abandoned in place in accordance with Building Code regulations.

REMOVAL requires the tank to be uncovered, clean sufficiently well to be free of ignitable vapors, cut open and cleaned of all product and product residue. The tank is then excavated and removed along with all associated piping. The tank is inspected for holes and the tank “grave” is inspected for product release. The tank grave may be sampled for soil contamination by extracting soil from the base and sidewalls of the tank grave. The soil sample is then analyzed at a certified laboratory. If contaminated soil or groundwater is encountered, it is required by law, in most states, that the acting state environmental agency is notified. The remediation process begins by excavating contaminated soil and/or contaminated liquids be pumped and removed from the site.

LEGALLY ABANDONED The tank is uncovered, rendered free of ignitable vapors, cut open and cleaned of all product and product residue. The tank is then entered by a technician and visually inspects the tank for breaches. Soil may also be extracted from the perimeter of the tank by means of drilling through the tank and extracting soil samples or by “geoprobing” around the tank from the surface. If any contaminated soil is detected or breaches in the tank are observed, the tank must be removed from the ground and the site remediated. If no problems are observed, the tank may be filled with foam, sand or concrete slurry, depending on local municipality regulations. here it's foam or sand,. The environmentalist in me would always want to physically remove a tank, than have a big blob of foam surrounded by corroding metal in my garden, but that's just me.

WATERFRONT PROPERTY: You will need a Trustees Wetlands Permit, also DEC permit and various other Agencies for anything within the Trustees jurisdiction, which would be anything close to wetlands or a body of water. I'm not sure of Southampton Trustee jurisdiction, but in Southold, it's 100ft, so that may also impact where you can locate the new septic.

SEPTIC TANK: Please go to the Building Department at Southampton Town Hall and get the Building Regs. Don't assume that every company working out here understands the requirements of your Town. You need to make sure that what they are doing is in compliance and that they are taking care of any permits you may need, otherwise you may end up with a "Stop work Order" and hefty fines.

Well done for deciding to go green! It's a good feeling isn't it? I have great referrals for Solar and Wind installation in this area if you need them. Also, if you are waterfront and need a good Environmental Company to handle permits, I have several names I can also recommend who work between North and South Forks.

Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 21, 2009
Hi Ann,
If the oil tank is underground, the oil company can do it. One way is to remove the oil and fill up with foam or sand, or remove the tank completely from the ground. You will need the certificate of abandonment, please save for future reference.
There are few companies I deal with for septic tank and cesspool. If you like I can email you the names. Also you can contact local Realtor or Chamber Of Commerce and someone can recommend you the name.
Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
In our location, generall the oil storage tank (if in the ground), will be filled with sand or foam after it is drained and certified abandoned. Hang onto that certificate; you will need it in the future when you sell.

There are many companies in every state that deal in septic systems. I always like to work on referrals from folks I know who have done the practical homework for me.
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
Hello Ann, Depending on the state you live in, there will be differences in removal requirements... If you wish to contact our local Engel & Voelkers in Southampton Long Island NY. An estate agent will be happy to provide you with names from our Service Book of people who may assist you in the process!
Good Luck

Jonathan Lerner
Engel & Voelkers
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 13, 2009
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