Hardful effects of flooded underground storage tanks

Underground Storage Tanks: Before and After a Flood

Underground storage tanks can pose a grave risk to the soil and groundwater of a property. When they fall into disrepair, they can be considered an environmental liability, especially if they’ve been used to store gasoline, diesel fuel kerosene, or heating oil. Rusted or leaky underground storage tanks as well as abandoned or undocumented tanks must be removed in order to protect homeowners as well as the land they live on.

Applied Resource Management is skilled and experienced when it comes to removing underground storage tanks. Other times, an underground storage tank is still in use. If this is the case at your home, then your UST requires the protection in case of certain situations. One of these situations is flooding.

As we’ve seen in many cities in the eastern United States, including the most recent disaster in Louisiana, the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2011, and the heavy rains that fall here in North Carolina, flooding is a real concern, especially if you have an underground storage tank.

There are a few things you can do to protect your home, property, and environment from a flooded underground storage tank, before and after the water hits. By following the tips below and working with an experienced environmental professional, you can ensure that your underground storage tank is not a liability.

Before the Flood

A flood can cause an underground storage tank to become filled with water and contaminate the area around it. To prevent this, there are a number of things you should do:

  • Measure the water level reading of your tank and take product inventory, so you will be aware of any sudden changes.
  • Fill the tank to weigh it down and keep it from floating out of the ground.
  • Secure all openings and make sure your fill caps are tightened and locked.
  • Make sure the seal on your spill bucket plungers are operational and temporarily cap off the vent pipes. This will keep water from entering the tank.
  • Place sand bags or rocks over the tank to keep it from floating out of the ground.

After the Flood

Once the flood has passed, it’s important to check all aspects of your UST to ensure that no damage was done and all your preparations paid off. This should include the following:

  • First, make sure the power is turned off to protect yourself. Then check to see if anything leaked out of the UST and if any water or debris entered it.
  • Turn the power back on and check to see that the release detection system works.
  • Check and test all equipment, including pumps, shear valves, fill pipes, and vent lines.
  • Clean and empty the spill buckets and sumps and make sure they’re still tight.

We hope these tips help you keep your underground storage tanks safe and secure no matter what the weather does. If you need help forming a plan for your UST, fixing your UST after a flood, or removing an old UST you’re no longer using, contact Applied Resource Management today. We look forward to finding the solution that’s right for you.

Ways to Prevent the Zika Virus

5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Zika Virus

At Applied Resource Management, we pay close attention to various topics and problems that concern the environment. While most of our services relate to energy, soil studies, and well drilling, our interests don’t begin and end there. We’re also concerned with things that threaten our world, and lately that includes the Zika virus.

For the last few months, people all over the world have been worried about Zika. Zika is a virus that is spread through the bite of an infected species of mosquito. Unlike the mosquitos we’re used to, this species bites in the daytime and is much more aggressive than others. While the Zika virus itself isn’t deadly—in most cases, it causes only mild symptoms, such as fever, rash, joint pain, and headache—it can have dire consequences for pregnant women, causing severe birth defects. Another problem with Zika is that in addition to catching it from a mosquito bite, it can also be sexually transmitted. This puts both men and women at risk.

While there have not yet been any cases of Zika contracted in North Carolina, there have been a number in Florida and South America. People who travel to these areas are also at risk of contracting it and bringing it home with them.

There are currently no vaccines or medicines for Zika, and the long term effects have yet to be studied. In the meantime, the best thing we can do is protect ourselves from contracting the virus. Below are a few tips that will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

  1. Get rid of standing water. Mosquitos reproduce in standing water, so don’t let water accumulate in your yard or on your property. Each week, empty or get rid of cans, buckets, plant saucers, wheel barrows, and anything else that might be holding water. If you have an unused well on your property, it’s a great idea to have it properly sealed by an environmental professional such as Applied Resource Management, as it will quickly become a breeding ground for insects.
  2. Cover exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts and pants. In the hot summer months, it’s natural to wear shorts and tank tops. While these outfits will keep you cool, they won’t protect you from mosquito bites. Whenever possible, keep your skin covered. The best defense is a good offense!
  3. Use EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET. When it comes to protecting our health, we sometimes have to make certain compromises. One of those is the use of DEET. While all-natural repellents have their place, a potential Zika outbreak isn’t one of them.
  4. Stay in places with AC and window screens to keep mosquitos out. This suggestion may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating. If you have an outdoor porch you love, the threat of mosquito bites is a great excuse to screen it in and protect yourself from unwelcome guests. 
  5.  If you are currently or plan to become pregnant, avoid traveling to areas experiencing a Zika outbreak. While anyone can contract Zika, women of child-bearing age are at the greatest risk, due to the high likelihood of birth defects caused by the virus. If you or someone you love falls into this category, the solution is drastic but clear: don’t travel to areas in the midst of an outbreak. While a vacation to Brazil or Florida sounds nice, it’s simply not worth the risk right now.

If you think you have Zika, see your healthcare provider or doctor immediately to make sure you protect yourself and others from this virus. If you want to protect yourself against Zika and mosquitos in general through clean water and a sealed well, contact Applied Resource Management today.