Abandoned Underground Storage Tanks
Tanks will eventually fail and leak, because rust never sleeps. Removing tanks is generally better than filling tanks in place, but in certain circumstances typically due to tank locations, tank removal is not economically feasible. When tank removal is not practical, tank closure in place with foam is an option.
When you remove or close in place any buried petroleum storage tank, you must supply a clean inert material to fill the void space of the tank. Installing foam into an emptied underground storage tank is the most cost-effective solution for legally approved abandonment of underground storage tanks (USTs).
Foam is also a cost-effective solution for filling the void space prior to the abandonment of buried vessels, including oil tanks, underground propane tanks, gas tank, rail cars and other large containers.
On a typical foam tank filling project, the tank is entered and cleaned.
After tank cleaning and soil sampling, Curren Environmental mobilizes a foam rig (enclosed insulated foam trailer) capable of making foam on any project site for injection into a desired vessel. The foam is injected via hose fed gun that supplies a measured amount of air, resin and catalyst that makes foam when combined together. The foam is white in color and resembles shaving cream in appearance.
Tank Foam filling offers a number of financial advantages including:
- Lower excavation cost and dump truck and trailer are not needed to remove a tank from the ground and transport the tank to a recycling facility.
- Surface restoration costs are not needed. A 1000 gallon UST measures 48” by 10’9”, the hole you dig to remove this size tank is larger both in width and in length. The larger the excavation the more restoration that is required. Many tanks can be filled via the tank fill pipe or if excavation is necessary, you would have to excavate on average a 4’ by 4’ square holes to uncover a portion of the tank for cleaning and for equipment top access the tank void for foam filling.
- If hardscaping is present over the tank including concrete, asphalt or pavers, the disruption with foam tank filling can be minimized, this reducing surface hardscape restoration.
- Foam can be cheaper than concrete and is cheaper to remove if the tank is required to be removed at a future date in time.
- Injected tank foam is non-flammable and chemically inert. The foam will note promote corrosion of steel tanks or react with residual petroleum products.
Can I foam fill a tank?
Federal and industry protocols for tank closure in place allow a tank to be filled with an inert material. An inert material can be fill, slurry, concrete or foam. The advantage of foam is it is injected in a tank via a small diameter hose that can be snaked to hard to reach areas. If in the future the tank must be removed foam is also easy to remove.
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