Soil Borings Installation and Soil Sample Screening

Soil Borings Installation and Soil Sample Screening

CommTank personnel conducted preliminary subsurface investigations at an apartment building in Boston to determine the extent of fuel oil impact to the soil in the area of four aboveground oil storage tanks and the boilers servicing the property. The preliminary soil boring investigation included the advancement of five shallow soil borings (designated as SB1 through SB5) to depths between 4 and 5 feet below the basement floor. Soil boring locations were chosen based on staining observed on the floor in the basement.

Technician advancing a soil boring in basement of apartment building

The borings were advanced utilizing a Geoprobe subsoil sampler equipped with 36-inch zero contamination sampling tubes sealed with vinyl caps to prevent the loss of volatile and semi-volatile contaminants which might be present in the soil. Groundwater was not encountered during soil boring activities.

The soil samples were screened for total organic vapors (TOVs) using a Thermo Electron Model 580B Organic Vapor Meter (OVM) via the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) jar headspace screening method (described in MassDEP BWSC Policy No. WBC-400-89 entitled Management Procedures for Excavated Soils Contaminated with Virgin Petroleum Oils). The OVM was calibrated to measure TOVs, as isobutylene, in parts per million (ppm). The TOV concentrations measured during the soil boring advancement ranged between 0 ppm to 15 ppm in the soil samples. No soil samples were collected for laboratory analysis.

Soil sample contaminated with fuel oil

Based on the results of the soil sample screening, it appeared that the petroleum impacted soil extended to approximately four feet below the basement floor in the areas of SB1, SB3, and SB5. No TOVs were detected in the soil samples collected from soil borings SB2 or SB4.

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