What is Soil Remediation?

What is Soil Remediation?

If you have an oil tank, your property is at risk of oil spills and leaks. If you have an outdoor, underground oil tank, your property is at an even higher risk. Why? Because environmental elements can affect your oil tank more putting it at a high risk for corrosion. Once water gets into your oil tank, it can rust the tank from the inside out which can result in an oil spill.

So what happens if your oil tank spills? First, the oil tank will have to be removed. Once the tank is removed, a process known as soil remediation will take place. Soil remediation is necessary to make sure your property is still safe to live on.

Soil remediation is part of environmental remediation. Environmental remediation is simply the process of removing pollution and contaminants from the environment. Once an oil tank leaks, oil contaminants your property and it needs to be removed making soil remediation necessary.

Soil remediation works to remove the oil that has spilled into the environment and purify the soil in your yard. This process is only necessary if the oil leaks. If you have your oil tank removed before oil spills or leak, you do not have to go through the soil remediation process.

When an oil tank is removed from the ground, professionals look for four key elements to determine if the oil tank has spilled or leaked:

  1. Inspection of the tank: oil tank technicians as well as town inspectors will inspect the tank for holes and corrosion.
  2. Inspection of the ground: oil tank technicians and town inspectors will then look at the area where the oil tank was. They will look at the soil to see if there is any discoloration.
  3. Odor: inspectors will detect a strong oil smell from the excavation site if the tank has spilled
  4. Water: if there is water in the excavation site and it has an oily sheen, it is a good indication that the tank has spilled.

What is Soil Remediation

So what happens if your oil tank spills? What exactly is the soil remediation process?


If your oil tank fails and it is determined there was an oil leak, it is necessary to contact the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and notify them of the leak. They will give you a soil remediation case number to start the process.


Next, a Sub Surface Evaluator and a Licensed Site Remediation Professional will come to your property. They will evaluate the damage done and the extent of the soil remediation project. They will oversee the whole project from beginning to end. These two professionals are responsible for making sure your property is purified and safe making them the most valuable people to this job.

Sampling and Testing

First, the soil that is discolored, has a strong odor and has obviously been contaminated by oil will be removed. Then field screening will begin. This process will determine if all the contamination from the site has been removed or if other spots from the site are contaminated. The collected soil will be cleaned and continue to be tested until it is purified.

Property Restoration

Once the sampling is complete, the excavation site is filled. The backfill contains certified clean fill, graded and grass seed as well as hay.


When the sampling analysis is completed by a state certified laboratory, a report is sent to the home owner and the NJDEP. The NJDEP will receive all the necessary paperwork to let them know that the oil tank was removed and soil remediation is completed. Then, they will issue a certificate to indicate the process was completed to their satisfaction.

What is Soil Remediation

This is not an easy process to go through and it can be costly. Contact us for help with oil tank removal or soil remediation.