Douglas County moves to remove underground tanks

Waste oil tank linked to contamination in Solon Springs more than a decade ago will be removed.

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Government Center Boardroom, Superior, Wisconsin. (Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram)
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Douglas County officials are taking steps toward removing underground storage tanks at the former Prevost’s Restaurant in Solon Springs after taking the property by tax deed earlier this year.

The land and development committee on Tuesday, Oct. 26, directed the county clerk to get the process started and capped the total cost for the project at $12,000.

The cost of the project is expected to be between $5,000 and $10,000, and it would include the cost of the soil assessment required by the state, said Jeff Anderson of MSA Professional Services. He said the final determination of the cost would be driven by what’s in the tank once the tank is removed.

“If it’s reusable, recyclable oil, it will be a lower cost,” Anderson said. “If it’s sludge, which is characterized as waste, that will drive the cost up.”

County clerk Susan Sandvick said money to pay for the project will come from the county’s tank reserve fund.


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According to the Bureau of Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System database, two tanks on the site are closed, but there is a continuing obligation for residual soil contamination on the site at depths greater than eight feet below the tank basin.

Trimethylbenzenes and ethylbenzenes were found at the site at concentrations above Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources standards in March 2006, prior to closure, but concentrations of petroleum volatile organic compounds had fallen below DNR standards by the final monitoring event in March 2007.

“This tank is a waste oil tank, so our belief would be the fact that the site is closed already, we wouldn’t under similar conditions cause the state to reopen a site like this, but you're still required to do the assessment,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the removal doesn’t include cleanup of any contamination at the site. Because it’s a waste oil tank, he said the viscosity of the material is unlikely to leak.

Sandvick said the measure will require approval from the administration committee to release funds for the project when it meets Thursday, Nov. 4, and the county board before the project can proceed. She expects the measure to go before the county board at its Nov. 18 meeting.

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