• Business

    What You Need to Know About Removing Underground Storage Tanks

    Unused underground storage tanks should never be left or forgotten. If the tank leaks, any contents left inside the tank could seep into the surrounding soil. This exposes the landowner to significant environmental liability. Removing the tank is the better alternative.

    Federal and state regulators have strict requirements for the removal of underground storage tanks. These rules are to prevent accidental spills or contamination. Hiring a professional to handle the removal minimizes these risks.

    Before you hire anyone, it’s important to understand the process for removing tanks.

    Steps Taken During a Typical Underground Storage Tank Removal

    #1 Notify Government Agencies of Removal

    Before you can remove an underground storage tank, you need to notify federal and state agencies at least 30 days prior to the work. You may also need special permits at the county or city level.

    #2 Hire a Licensed Contractor

    Look for a contractor with experience removing such tanks. Many states require the contractor to hold a special certification or license to perform the work. A licensed contractor will pull the proper permits and follow the rules for safe tank removal.

    #3 Remove Remaining Material from Tank

    Almost all tanks have some reside remaining inside. Before anything can be done with the tank, the contents must be removed. The contractor must follow strict protocols, especially with flammable or toxic substances.

    #4 Displace Oxygen in Tank

    Oxygen inside the tank can, in some cases, have the potential to cause an explosion. Before the tank can excavated and removed, the air inside the tank must be inert. This involves removing the oxygen and replacing it with a non-explosive gas like carbon dioxide or nitrogen.

    #5 Remove Soil Around Tank

    The contractor will remove the soil around the top of the tank first, exposing the fittings and lines. These need to be removed before digging out the rest of the tank.

    #6 Clean and Remove Tank

    Some jurisdictions require the tank be cleaned of contamination before it’s removed from the job site. Others allow for tank removal to a secondary location for cleaning. In either case, the contractor will clean the tank and remove it.

    #7 Prepare for Tank Disposal

    Once the tank it out of the ground and cleaned, the contractor must follow strict guidelines for disposal. Some jurisdictions allow for cutting the tank up on site, while others allow it to be moved intact. The contractor will identify safety hazards, mitigate vapor, dispose of residue, and clean the system.

    #8 Perform Required Sampling

    After the tank is gone, the state requires the contractor to take samples from the surrounding soil. It’s to identify whether contaminants have leaked. In some cases, the state may require samples of groundwater as well.

    #9 Remove and Dispose of Contaminated Soil

    If contaminated soil is found, it must be removed. The contractor will remove it and dispose of it according to federal and state requirements.

    #10 Report Results to Appropriate Agencies

    Once the work is done and the samples taken, the contractor must report the results to the appropriate agencies. A typical report documents the following:

    • Results of soil and groundwater sampling
    • Map of where samples were taken
    • Documentation of underground storage tank disposal
    • Documentation of soil removal

    #11 Filling In the Hole

    The last step is to fill in the hole left after the storage tank removal. Any uncontaminated soil from the initial excavation can be used. Off-site soil can also be used to fill it in.

    Removing abandoned underground storage tanks reduces the risk of environmental contamination. It also enhances the property value because buyers don’t have to deal with the issue. The sale can go through without the need for expensive investigation and remediation.

    If you have an unused underground storage tank, talk with a specialist before you do anything. Learn what your options are and make an informed decision.

  • Career

    How Graduate Engineers can Increase their Chances of Employment

    After years of studying engineering and hard work, you finally graduate and get your engineering degree. Your qualifications will expose you to numerous opportunities, but they won’t come easy.

    Sitting and waiting to get job notifications after sending multiple applications is a waste of time. You should have a job search plan if you want your efforts to yield fruit. Here are five tips that you can use to help you find and be successful with an engineering job:

    1. Customize Your Resume

    Engineering is a broad career field, and you most likely majored in a particular type. You may have majored in chemical, computer, electrical, mechanical, civil, telecommunications or medical engineering. Employers want you to be very specific about your qualifications.

    Your resume is key to attracting the right job for you. Thus, ensure that your information is up to date.

    Many job seekers make the mistake of using the same resume for multiple applications. Others will copy their friend’s resume and change a few details. Don’t do that because employers have seen all kinds of resumes.

    Before you send your resume for a specific application, customize it so that it fits with the role you’re applying for. Don’t be afraid to use a creative template for the resume. Employers are more likely to choose a resume that looks unique.

    2. Market Yourself Online

    We live at a time where information is easily accessible on the internet. As a smart engineer, you need to set up accounts with various online recruitment agencies and professional bodies.

    Those professional agencies will offer up-to-date training on the latest trends in your profession. You can do those short courses to improve your marketability. You’ll be more likely to get a job because your skills are up-to-date.

    Also, being a member of an engineering professional association helps you network and meet the right people. You can get a referral for a job interview.

    3. Get Experience

    Most employers want graduates that understand the industry. They want someone who has been in the field and experienced first-hand what the profession is about. They want someone that knows how to interact with colleagues in the field. To get experience, you can apply for voluntary or paid internship programs.

    Gaining experience will allow you to learn new skills. You may also acquire problem-solving skills that can come in handy later. If you’re competent, the firm may hire you full-time after your internship.

    4. Familiarize Yourself with Interview Questions and Procedures

    Job hunting is just the first step in your career path. Once you start getting job offers, you need to prepare for interviews. It can be scary at first because you’re not used to that environment. However, you can prepare by familiarizing yourself with common interview questions.

    A mixture of both class and practical knowledge is essential. This is because you may be asked about an unfamiliar experience in your career. You must answer the questions honestly and without hesitation. Be confident and respectful. Pay attention to everything the interviewer says.

    5. Resume Quality

    Being a fresh graduate from engineering school means that you don’t have much experience. Nonetheless, your main priority should be to focus on quality and not quantity. You can edit your CV by including bullet points and mentioning all your achievements. A good example is an engineering project you completed in college.

    Your resume should be honest and straight to the point.

    In summary, engineering is a lucrative and competitive career field. If you recently graduated, you need a plan to increase your chances of getting a job. The above tips can be a great start.

  • Business

    Current Costs of a Septic Tank System Installation

    For many people, wastewater and sewage are not something one actively thinks about. Other than to pay the bill for use of the local public sewer system, there is barely any thought given to what happens to the water once it leaves the sink, tub, or toilet.

    However, there is another side of things. For many homes, septic tanks are necessary because there is not access to a public sewer system. This is true of many residential and vacation homes in rural areas, and it applies to about a third of American homes. It is something that has to be factored in when constructing a new home in regions where there is not a public sewer system option. A recurring theme is that the cost needs to be factored in.

    How much a septic tank costs can vary quite a bit by region. The size of the system needed also is a significant factor in determining the cost. There are certain guidelines that one can look to in order to get a general feel for the situation. Generally, one gauges need based on the number of bedrooms that a home has. For instance, a three-bedroom home would be expected to need a 1,000 gallon tank. For a system of that size, one could expect to pay approximately $8,000 to $15,000. A less modestly-sized house with five bedrooms would likely necessitate a 1,500-gallon tank, and a system that size would be expected to come with a price tag of around $15,000 to $25,000.

    Of course, the cost of the tank and its installation is but one part of the overall picture. There are other costs as well that need to be factored in. Permits, soil tests, and excavation equipment to prepare the site are all part of the process of getting a septic tank in place.

    Getting The Job Done Right

    How do you get a handle on what the costs will be? One of the best ways is to turn to a local septic installation expert. He or she will know what is necessary for the particular municipality and will have a better idea of how much things cost in that particular region.

    There is also a cost of time associated with installation as well. Plan on the process taking three to five days. The ideal time to add this vital feature to your property is after the house is built but prior to the concrete and cement driveway or landscaping features having been added.

    Maintenance Of Concrete Septic Tanks

    When it comes to septic tanks, there is still another thing to keep in mind. They are not a one-and-done sort of item. Instead, they are something that has an ongoing need for maintenance. If they are not pumped out every few years, the consequences can be rather unpleasant. This means a scenario involving human sludge backing up into the yard.

    In order to maintain health, sanity, and a non-sludge filled yard, it is important to have the septic tank pumped once every one to three years. This carries with it a price tag of about $300-400. Given the alternative, it is a fairly small price to pay.

    It is possible, too, that it won’t be necessary to have the tank pumped quite that often. This can be achieved through a variety of measures. Each carries with it a price tag of its own, but it can mean extending the time between needed maintenance. Items such as low-flow toilets can be helpful in achieving this.

    Of course, there are also free measures that can be taken as well. These include not using more water than is necessary. This can be achieved in little ways such as not letting the water run while brushing one’s teeth.