Basement Remediation for a Leaking Oil Tank

CommTank was hired to provide a limited subsurface investigation (LSSI) at this single family residential property in Revere, MA. The property was owned by Freddy Mac and had been unoccupied for some time. It was posted for sale through Real Property Management when it was burglarized for the copper piping inside. While removing the copper pipes for the heating oil tank, the thieves created an oil spill in the basement that contaminated a majority of the concrete floor and subfloor.

A LSSI is conducted by installing test pits and soil borings. The test pits were used to recover fuel oil from beneath the concrete floor. The LSSI was helpful in assessing the nature and extent of soil contamination around the leaking fuel oil tank located in this residential basement. CommTank drilled and collected five soil samples and screened them for the presence of petroleum.

The next phase of the project consisted of excavation and transportation of petroleum contaminated soil (PCS). This work was performed under an Immediate Response Action (IRA) plan as required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Immediate Response Actions are assessment and/or remedial actions that shall be undertaken in an expeditious manner to address sudden releases.

Clean soil located within the excavation area was segregated and stockpiled on-site for temporary storage. The PCS was excavated and loaded directly onto trucks for transportation to a licensed soil treatment facility. During the excavation process soil was field screened with a photo-ionization detector (PID) using the MADEP “Jar Headspace Method” (MADEP Policy No. WSC-400-89). A level of 30 parts per million by volume (ppmv) was established as the remediation goal and the PCS removal continued until a level of 30 ppmv had been achieved. Commtank excavated and disposed of 179.7 tons from the basement of the house and 85.77 tons from the outside of the house.

The final phase of the project involved restoring the basement floor and the yard. Crushed stone was brought into the basement through a chute that CommTank built for this purpose. The area was leveled and compacted so that a new concrete floor could be poured. After restoring the basement the remediation work was complete. The Licensed Site Professional (LSP), that directed the remediation work, documented the steps taken in an IRA Completion Report and closed out the site.