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Please, tell me what it is.

Chad Fabry

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It's a rural car dealership. All the oils and motor fuels are currently stored in above ground tanks.

The property uses a septic system for the bathrooms, floor drains and maybe for the roof drains as well.

The fittings on the pipes are the magnesium spark proof type and the bolts haven't been out of the manhole cover for a very, very long time.

Is it access to an oil separation system for the septic or is it abandoned UST's for motor fuels or waste oil storage?

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Hi Chad,

I'm thinking waste oil storage but your guess is as good as mine. The last time I worked for a dealership in NYS, waste oil was dumped into a tank similar to that and anti-freeze was dumped onto the bank behind the building. The dealership had been built on top of a filled in swamp; and the antifreeze drained into the marsh where I'm sure it poisoned plenty of the local flora and fauna and probably contaminated every well within half a mile by 1990.



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Good chance the septic tank has been pumped in the last 5 or 10 years, so a good guess is, no, that tank is not the septic tank.

I would inquire as to the status of the septic tank and who pumped it out when. Somewhere there is a map that shows the location of the tanks. But you know all this.

We used to save up the crankcase oil and burn it in a pot in the barrel stove. To light it, shoot some white gas in with the blow torch. Anti-freeze is sweet and it is deadly for cats.

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Thanks Guys- John, it's rural upstate NY and the dealership was built in the early 1980's. There's a building permit and a c of o. No site plan, no septic plan, no county approvals.

I researched a bit and found large capacity grease interceptors that are like multi chambered septic tanks. I'm leaning toward that explanation. if that's the case though, the leach field has to be be full of oil and sludge from the floor drains and lack of septic system maintenance.

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I would guess an early coalescing o/w separator. They're also used for drain systems in large paved parking lots - like an auto dealership would have.

I don't have to get involved in evaluating them though. For that type of use, we would automatically arrange an ESA with our environmental partner.

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