Decommissioning is the process of removing and disposing of a tank you no longer need or one that needs to be relocated or replaced. There are a number of requirements in force today that you need to comply with throughout the process. A professional decommissioning service will not only carry out the work, they’ll also ensure full compliance with the regulations. There are several areas that need to be handled correctly, and a professional service will take care of these.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has detailed guidance on how a decommissioning job must be carried out. They break the initial process down into five stages.
Initial decommissioning stages
-Carrying out a detailed environmental risk assessment.
-Sampling the groundwater and soil around the tank before, during, and after the job, and using the results in the risk assessment.
-“Bottoming”, which is the process of removing any residues from connecting pipes and the tank itself.
-Checking pipes and the tank for explosive vapors and neutralizing them before the tank is taken out of the ground.
-Removing and cleaning any pipes, separators, dispensers and the tank itself.
There are also further regulations related to tank disposal and contamination testing.
Do I have to decommission my tank?
Defra states that there is an environmental risk in not removing a tank that is no longer used. Residues in the tank can still leak out and pollute groundwater or the surrounding soil. Because the tank is no longer being monitored or receiving regular maintenance, these leaks are more likely to occur. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use decommissioning services like those of Tank Decommissioning services to remove unused tanks.
A spill of contaminated material into the groundwater or soil system can be very expensive to clean u and may result in charges being brought against the tank owner. However, an owner who has used a professional tank decommissioning service can show that they took steps to act responsibly and ensure that no environmental damage occurred during the process.
The process of disconnecting and safely dismantling a tank can involve serious safety hazards. Operators who do this frequently will have all of the appropriate safety equipment and use a safe working process. This is another good reason to get the job done by a professional decommissioning service.