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Buying a property in New Jersey can be complicated at time..2It is not unusual for a property to have 2 or three tanks on the site. It is not the presence of the tank but the heating oil contamination that is left behind that may have gone undetected for decades.
All oil tank sweeps are not created equal. Most oil tank sweeps are performed using a metal detector, Environmental Systems uses Ground penetrating radar that uses radio waves to identify images and also presents visual image on screen rather than a beeping noise . Metal detectors can only sense a image down to two feet while a Ground Penetrating Radar can detect images down to 18 feet. If the Ground Penetrating Radar operator has extensive geophysics experience he can tell sometimes what a object is without performing soil borings. Some companies using metal detectors just stick a metal probe in the ground, but this can me misleading. A tank sand filled will allow the probe to travel down to 3-4 feet giving a false reading, Soil boring allow the operator to obtain discrete soil sample every 6-12 inches allowing the Environmental Scientist or LSRP to read the soil and check soils with a Photoionization Detector. Ground Penetrating Radar also identifies non metallic objects such as plastic pipe, concrete, construction debris abandon septic tanks and dangerous sink holes. You Tank sweep should be performed by a experienced operator that has a tank and remediation back round. Some Home Inspectors are providing the tank sweep service with no Environmental Certifications or experience. With New Jersey Remediation of residential homes costing a minimum of $20-$30,000 and some times exceeding $ 100,000 it is better to be safe than sorry. A property can be contaminated and a no oil or gas tanks were ever found. Recently Environmental Systems
performed a Oil Tank sweep on vacant residential piece of land. The Ground Penetrating Radar operator found numerous anomalies which could be identified with performing extra cost soil borings. Once the soil boring were complete metal pipes were found and the site was contaminated with gasoline and MTBE compounds resulting in a extensive cleanup costing over $ 100,000. Knowing what test for allowed Environmental Systems to identify what gasoline compounds were present. A unskilled home inspector would have missed this environmental problem and put the buyers family at risk.
There is no substitute for environmental . Environmental Experience does not come with the metal detectors operating instructions.