So. You're ready to remove that underground storage tank at your house. Good for you!
As with any service, the most important (and common) question is "Well, how much is this going to cost?!"
We live in a world where you can order just about anything online with a click of a button, knowing exactly how much you're going to spend. Unfortunately, when it comes to tank removals, the bottom price is never that simple. Several factors go into how much green it takes to yank that tank.
Here are 4 of the big ones:
1) How big is the tank?
Underground storage tanks can range from 500 gallons to 10,000 gallons or more (sometimes a 275 gallon tank will be buried underground; these are actually made to be aboveground tanks and should never be buried). Larger tanks are buried deeper, require more excavation, leave a bigger hole once removed, and hold the potential to cause a much larger spill if a leak is encountered.
Bottom Line: The bigger the tank, the bigger the cost.
2) How accessible is the tank?
A tank with nothing but dirt and grass above it is will be less expensive to remove than a tank with something on top of it. We have seen tanks under stairs, porches, patios and even home additions! Features such as retaining walls, stone steps, and fences can also cause accessibility issues for the equipment needed to remove a tank.
Bottom Line: The more difficult it is to get access to a tank, the more expensive it'll be.
3) What municipality is the permit coming from?
One of the first steps of tank removal is acquiring a permit to perform the work from the building department of the town that the tank is located in. These permit costs are variable and vary greatly from county to county and even town to town. One town building department may charge $25 for a permit, while another town in the same county can cost $200 or more!
Bottom Line: Location matters. Big time.
4) Is there a sign of leaking or contamination?
This is possibly the biggest factor in how much your tank removal is going to cost and, unfortunately, there's no way to know until the work is underway. We hope that every site we go to has an intact tank that hasn't leaked. This isnt always the case and many times we remove the tank to find that holes have rusted through and the oil has gotten into the soil. When this happens, a spill needs to be called into the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and remediation needs to occur. Soil remediation means removing all the contaminated soil from the area, filling the hole that has been excavated with clean backfill material, getting the contaminated dirt disposed of, and collecting soil samples to prove to the DEC that the area has been cleaned up. All of these factors add up to what can potentially be a huge cost (we're talking around $5,000 - $30,000 or more!).
Bottom Line: We've said it before and we will say it again, Yank that tank, before there is oil in your soil!!!
These factors, and several others, are why we at Optima insist on providing a free site inspection for every job we take on. Sending out a professional to take a look at many of these key components allows us to provide you, the customer, with the most accurate cost estimate we can possibly provide. Knowing all the individual quirks of a specific jobsite allows our field crew to be as prepared as possible to get the job done efficiently and done right!