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Tank Decommissioning & Replacement in Portland, OR

Environmental consultants decommissioning a storage tank in Portland, OR
Alpha Environmental is experienced in the handling of Heating Oil Tanks, Septic Tanks, and UST’s.
Call us for more information: (503) 292-5346

The tank decommissioning process refers to permanently closing a tank by capping it, filling it with material like foam or slurry, or digging it up and removing it from the ground completely. Alpha Environmental offers tank decommissioning and replacement services for residential and commercial properties in Portland, Oregon. We service heating oil, septic, and storage tanks.

Heating oil tanks are containers that hold oil to heat homes or buildings. Septic tank systems are tanks that use anaerobic bacteria to decompose and purify organic wastewater. Underground storage tanks (USTs) are used to store oil or other materials. In each case, these types of tanks can become hazardous over time. As such, they require decommissioning or replacement.

Underground Storage Tank Decommission

There are several possible reasons a tank may leak. Tanks are made of steel, which is subject to corrosion over time. There may also be leaks in worn-out fittings, filters, and hose connections. A UST leak can lead to an environmental hazard in the soil and water. If a worn-out or damaged tank causes the leak, we will need to decommission or remove the tank. Repairs are not an option.

Our decommissioning process includes the following steps:

  1. Pump and clean the tank
  2. Fill the tank with sand or concrete
  3. Collect soil samples around the tank
  4. Cut off the fill and vent pipes
  5. Register the tank with the Oregon Dept of Environmental Quality (if necessary)

Septic Tank Decommission & Replacement

There are several reasons why a septic tank may malfunction, including lack of maintenance, excessive water use, improper installation, or damage. 

  • Water and sewage from toilets, drains, and sinks are backing up into the home.
  • Bathtubs, showers, and sinks drain slowly
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system
  • Standing water or damp spots near the septic tank or drain field
  • Foul odors around the septic tank or drain field

Symptoms of a Malfunctioning Septic Tank

Septic systems require routine maintenance. If maintained, the septic system should provide dependable performance. However, If the septic system isn’t maintained, you risk dangerous and costly failures. Signs of a malfunctioning septic tank include

  • Backed-up toilets, drains, and sinks
  • Bathtubs, showers, and sinks drain slowly
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system
  • Standing water near the septic tank
  • Bad odors around the septic tank
  • Bright green, spongy lush grass over the septic tank
  • High levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in water wells

Our Tank Decommissioning Process

Alpha Environmental follows a step-by-step process for decommissioning your septic tank. We either subcontract or refer to a GPR person to locate and identify the tank. We will then determine the tank size and physical parameters. Keep in mind that septic tanks cannot be repaired. Instead, they must be replaced.

Heating Oil Tank Decommissioning

Heating oil tanks peaked in the 1970s but can still be found on many properties today. Until the mid-1980s, most heating oil tanks were made of bare steel, which corrodes over time. As a result, leaks occur, causing contamination in the surrounding area. 

The greatest threat of a leaking tank is that the contents seep into the soil and groundwater. Therefore, leaking tanks must be properly decommissioned to avoid environmental issues.

Our Decommissioning Process

Soil Matrix Cleanup

This process often removes the contaminated soil at a heating oil tank cleanup site or covers low-impact closures where limited contamination is present.

Risk-Based Decision-Making Cleanup

This process involves closure with some of the contamination on your property if we can demonstrate that leaving the pollution from the heating oil tank will not impact human or environmental health. The process is often used when removal impacts structures, is too costly, or we cannot remove all contamination.

General Remedy Cleanup

This process involves a limited risk assessment closure for lower-risk sites.

Schedule a Tank Decommission Today

If you discover an oil leak on your property, you need to act quickly before the leak spreads further into the soil and water. If you would like a tank decommissioning in Portland, Oregon, contact Alpha Environmental today. Call (503) 406-6686 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free estimate.

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