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Underground Fuel Storage Tank Leaks into nearby Creek

On a hot day at the end of August, workers near a gas station noticed a gasoline odor. They investigated and found gasoline seeping into a nearby creek. Local and state emergency response teams initially responded to the release, and contained the slick with absorbent booms and pads. Later that day, Simon & Associates was contacted and took over the cleanup operations.

Over the next week, Simon & Associates personnel conducted a detailed analysis to determine the extent and source of the contamination, and to identify drinking water sources in the vicinity that could be impacted. Associates drilled soil borings and installed monitoring wells. Water and soil samples were sent to independent laboratories for analysis.

Drill Rig

Tank tightness testing at the gas station revealed that a 4,000-gallon underground fuel storage tank had rusted through, leaking fuel into the ground and nearby stream. The soil near the tank was saturated with fuel. A sample from a groundwater monitoring well showed free product (fuel) floating on the groundwater.

Rusty tank

Bailer with product

As soon as the contaminant plume was identified, Simon & Associates installed a dual-phase extraction and treatment system to treat the contaminated water on the site. The treatment system was connected to a number of the groundwater wells to pump out the fuel-contaminated water. The treatment system would run for the next four months.

All of the station’s underground fuel storage tanks were removed and replaced. Small pools of gasoline were present on the ground under the leaking tank.
Red fuel in puddle beneath tank

Over 250 tons of contaminated soil were removed for treatment and recycling. The pit was backfilled with gravel before new tanks were installed. Four months after the spill was reported, the gas station was able to sell gas again from new tanks.

By early January, the treatment system had removed nearly 400 pounds of petroleum from the groundwater at the site. The recovered petroleum was bio-remediated, and the cleaned water was released harmlessly to the environment. Groundwater samples taken at this time showed significant decreases in petroleum constituents, and no longer contained any free product.


Trailer-mounted remediation system

After the treatment system was removed, Simon & Associates personnel monitored the groundwater at the site monthly for the next year. All the groundwater remediation goals were reached successfully. State authorities closed the case after endpoints were reached.

Simon & Associates effectively and efficiently assisted the client throughout the entire process from the initial spill to case closure. As a full service environmental firm, Simon & Associates can respond to emergency situations, perform initial site characterizations, assess contaminant plumes, remediate contaminated groundwater, conduct groundwater and soil monitoring, and manage state-required reporting for the petroleum industry client.


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