Aboveground Tank Removal Service

Aboveground Tank Removal Service

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When the safe use of your aboveground storage tank (AST) is ending, call CommTank. Our storage tank removal service is a quick, safe, and reliable way to decommission it.

Our team provides home and business property owners in New England with aboveground tank removal and replacement. For more than two decades, we’ve removed all tank types ranging from 500 to 30,000 gallons.  Our area of expertise is tanks; both removal and installation.  The amount of tank information and service we provide for people sets us apart from other removal services.

When to replace an aboveground storage tank

Indicators that a steel tank needs replacement include corrosion on its bottom, seams, welds, and piping. For all aboveground storage tank areas that are out of compliance, improperly abandoned, or suspected of leakage, CommTank has the expertise and experience to remove them quickly and efficiently.  One more benefit to your home or business property is the minimal impact you will experience.

Are “empty” tanks hazardous?

Aboveground storage tanks deemed empty can be hazardous, as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Appendix C of OSHA’S 29 CFR 1910-146 cites these examples of incidents involving “empty” tanks:

  • Welding in and near tank areas can ignite flammable vapors.
  • Tanks with a low amount of oxygen (less than 19.5%) can cause asphyxiation.
  • Just because a fuel vessel is “emptied” of its contents does not mean it is free of hazards.
  • Tanks for home or commercial use are never safe for entry until properly and thoroughly evaluated.  Tank system evaluation is necessary to ensure that there are no actual or potential atmospheric hazards that can affect the oxygen content, flammability, or toxicity.

Source-link to full appendix: OSHA Safe Entry Requirements for Above Ground Storage Tanks

generator storage tank removal

Complexities involved in aboveground storage tank projects

The CommTank team has earned success in the commercial industry by understanding the complexities involved in aboveground storage tank projects.  Key complexities include knowledge of products and their flash points, as well as proper equipment applications.

Product knowledge is critical for pumping success

Equipment systems used to pump one type of fuel do not work for another, so it’s vital to know the type of product in the tank.   For example, some fuels (such as ethanol and biodiesel) can degrade rubber, so the choice of fuel hose or pump seals is important.  Number 4 and 6 heating oil each require warming to reduce viscosity before they can be pumped, so the proper equipment must be used to ensure success.

Information about proper handling of tank vapors

Information about proper handling of potentially flammable tank vapors ensures everyone’s safety.  It all begins with product knowledge.  For example, fuel oil will not ignite unless subjected to very high temperatures, but gasoline is highly flammable in normal temperature ranges.  

The flash point for each fuel is listed below:

Fuel Flash point Auto ignition temperature
Ethanol (70%) 16.6 °C (61.9 °F)[2] 363 °C (685 °F)[2]
Gasoline (petrol) −43 °C (−45 °F)[3] 280 °C (536 °F)[4]
Diesel (2-D) >52 °C (126 °F)[3] 256 °C (493 °F)[4]
Jet fuel (A/A-1) >38 °C (100 °F) 210 °C (410 °F)
Kerosene >38–72 °C (100–162 °F) 220 °C (428 °F)
Vegetable oil (canola) 327 °C (621 °F)  
Biodiesel >130 °C (266 °F)  

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_point 

To prepare all aboveground tanks for transport or entry into a scrap yard, our team uses dry ice and an explosion proof blower to displace flammable vapors.

CommTank’s aboveground storage tank removal methodology:

  • Request a Police detail if necessary
  • Pump out the tank
  • Clean tank bottom (remove sludge and remaining fuel)
  • Disconnect piping and drain the lines
  • Handle all waste (drum and transport)
  • Seal work area off and ventilate if necessary with negative air machines
  • Cut with torch or steel nibbler tool if necessary (subbasement & enclosed spaces)
  • Disconnect anchor bolts and grounding rods
  • Dismantle containment walls or pipe hangers

The CommTank Difference:  Thorough, Efficient, Cost-effective Service

Let CommTank provide you with safe and efficient aboveground tank removal services with little or no disruption to you and your business.  Our team will handle all the details for you:

  • We complete all paperwork, such as permitting (AST Removal & Decommissioning Form FP-112), and Bill of Lading for waste handling and useable fuel
  • We filter fuel for transport to a different location, or provide temporary tank rentals on site if required
  • We provide removal and disposal of tank systems (can include piping, pumps, filters and dispensers)
  • We offer aboveground storage tank removal services outside of typical business hours, to avoid or minimize disruption for commercial clients 
  • We provide soil sampling, per requirement if there is visible staining
  • We restore the surface, by removing the concrete pad or metal supports

CommTank meets all local fire department requirements, including:

  • Oil Burner Certificate (shows knowledge of fuel type, oil burners, and piping)
  • Hoisting Engineer License (needed for large tanks to be lifted by crane)
  • Hazardous generator license (for removal of contaminated fuel or solids left in the tank)
  • Follow local and state laws pertaining to handling and disposal

CommTank follows industry standards for aboveground storage tank removals, including:  

  • API Recommended Practice for Tank Removal
  • NFPA Standard for Removal and Disposal

Removing an aboveground storage tank from service

Benefits of hiring an experienced aboveground storage tank removal firm

Prevents oil spill potential 

Unlike the experienced CommTank team, inexperienced providers often cut pipes that still contain fuel

Eliminates fuel odor in commercial buildings 

Using negative air machines, CommTank eliminates fuel odors in sensitive areas 

No stains left behind

CommTank provides rosin paper and poly sheet protection, to protect finished areas and basements from stains

Less noise because of specialized tools 

CommTank’s professional tools produce lower decibel levels than home improvement store tools

Hazardous waste handling (manifest and disposal) documentation

Proper documentation saves time and eliminates legal questions regarding transportation

Eliminates the chance of explosion

CommTank tests for volatile vapor in case of improper labeling or improper filling. We also use explosion proof, non-sparking tools.

Insured for tank removals 

While storage tank removal coverage is excluded from most insurance policies, CommTank is an exception, based on proof of our expertise and work history

diesel generator tank replacement

Tank Replacement Options

Your CommTank Project Manager can provide you with options for a reliable, safe, and cost-effective replacement for your aboveground storage tank.  

Our customers often opt to replace the fuel supply tanks for their emergency backup generators (large aboveground and base tanks), as well as heating oil storage tanks for commercial buildings.  

Compliance concerns often dictate the necessity for upgrading tanks, so you want a replacement tank that fits your site’s requirements. We know the regulations and the products that meet them. Whether you’re looking for a fire protected tank to meet UL 2085 standards, or be equipped with 110% containment, remote tank gauging, fleet handling capabilities, or just double-wall fuel lines, CommTank can provide and install the system that meets your specifications.  

For examples of our work please see the aboveground tank removal projects section of our web site.


Contact CommTank today for expert aboveground tank removals in Massachusetts and New Hampshire: 1-800-628-8260