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Old 07-17-2017, 11:25 AM   #1
myredracer
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Default Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Had a hydraulic hose blow on our skid steer loader recently. Now I have real mess to clean up... What to do?

Had a big pile of approx. 2-3 truck loads of rocks of mixed sizes from around 1" to a foot in dia. that I had gathered from around our acreage after years of clearing the land & preparing it for use, building driveway/roads and building the house. Shortly after starting to dig the pile up to pull out rocks I wanted to save and bury the rest, a hose blew.

Now I have a real mess of oily rocks and oil soaked dirt mixed together of about 4'x4' in area. Have had a few hoses burst in the past and it's been on soft soil that I was able to dig up and put in 5 gallon pails. I used to be able to take the buckets to our local Case dealer for disposal but they won't do that anymore. I started to pick up some of the rocks yesterday. Didn't look that bad at first but picking up some of the rocks, they are coated with goo/oil on the underside. I have no idea how deep the oil goes either.

If this was just oil & dirt, I'd just dig until I got it all. How can I tackle this? Individually clean the larger rocks with soap & water?? That'd be a LOT of rocks to clean. Put the rocks into some kind of a container and take them somewhere that will accept them? Who takes contaminated soil these days and is it expensive?

To make matters worse, our surface well is about 20' away and I can't have the oil leaching through the ground into the well. This comes at a time when this is the last thing I need to deal with, plus we had such a wet and extended spring, the window of opportunity for working outside is much shorter this year.
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Last edited by myredracer; 07-17-2017 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:00 PM   #2
buddyboy
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

near your mess create an area to put the rocks/dirt.

this area should be made in such a way that won't allow runoff

scrape away the topsoil, make walls/dam in a circle to contain and line it with something that can handle oil/water without breaking down.

then use excavator to transfer the contaminated stuff to your newly created 'safe' area.

this will buy you time until you figure out how to clean or dispose of it for good.

I'm not sure if this is the correct thing to do or not, but it's what I would do
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:04 PM   #3
73RR
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

How much land do you have? I'd haul the pile to the farthest location from my shallow well and let mother nature deal with it.
If you have environmental concerns, then there are companies that put such material through a pass-through burner and burn off the chemicals. These are the guys that process fill materials from gas stations when leaky tanks are removed. Not cheap......

Guess that you could spread it out a bit and cover it with wood scraps/pallets and burn it on site.

https://www.earthworksaction.org/iss...s#.WWzsmGeGNPo

http://www.inkasenvironmental.com/oi...minated-soils/
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyboy View Post
near your mess create an area to put the rocks/dirt.

this area should be made in such a way that won't allow runoff

scrape away the topsoil, make walls/dam in a circle to contain and line it with something that can handle oil/water without breaking down.

then use excavator to transfer the contaminated stuff to your newly created 'safe' area.

this will buy you time until you figure out how to clean or dispose of it for good.

I'm not sure if this is the correct thing to do or not, but it's what I would do
I like this if you are going to do it yourself.

Perhaps a pressure washer with a mild degreaser. You would need to pump the remaining liquid into barrels for disposal.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:21 PM   #5
PugetDude
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Call the EPA.
They are there to help.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:31 PM   #6
WhiffySpark
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

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Call the EPA.
They are there to help.
That's a 6 figure phone call.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:32 PM   #7
GMCGarage
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Get a small kiddie pool, and clean the rocks you want, and treat the run off. a good degreaser will render that oil somewhat safe to dispose of easily.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Where are you located?

This sort of event happens all the time in the oil fields.

They handle it basically by burning the contaminated materials...

Here's a link. http://nerglobal.com/process-scroller/
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:36 PM   #9
PugetDude
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

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Originally Posted by lakeroadster View Post
Where are you located?

This sort of event happens all the time in the oil fields.

They handle it basically by burning the contaminated materials...

Here's a link. http://nerglobal.com/process-scroller/
Yep, I'd be building a big backyard firepit, with a nice earth and rock berm around it for safety.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Diapers.

Wipe the rocks down with diapers.

That's how they cleaned up the beaches after the Exxon Valdez accident.

Actually, they were using oil absorbing pads called "diapers".

You can buy them at most construction supply or automotive stores.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:50 PM   #11
joseywales
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Think about this before making the call, but does your insurance cover this? If you take action and it's wrong and/or makes matters worse, costs could increase exponentially and your carrier could then deny the claim, or at the very least deny to cover the "damage" you created. My wife handled environmental claims for years and it could get ugly. If that oil hits your well, that would be ugly.

a fender bender, you pay out of pocket to avoid insurance. If an ambulance shows up, you claim it and take the hit. You just need to decide if you need an ambulance or not...and the clock is ticking.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

how much actual oil do you think is involved ?

I find it hard to believe that you need to do anything with the rocks you want to use, just use them. How much oil could there possibly be on them ? fractions of a cup ? Light hydraulic oil is not going to make a thick coating on a rock...

The big concern is the well, I would scrape the soil up and move it away.

We are talking about only a couple gallons or less ? right? Had a few hoses blow out myself, but the losses were luckily minimal.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyboy View Post
near your mess create an area to put the rocks/dirt.

this area should be made in such a way that won't allow runoff

scrape away the topsoil, make walls/dam in a circle to contain and line it with something that can handle oil/water without breaking down.

then use excavator to transfer the contaminated stuff to your newly created 'safe' area.

this will buy you time until you figure out how to clean or dispose of it for good.

I'm not sure if this is the correct thing to do or not, but it's what I would do
I'd be more worried about water entering from above, than contamination escaping from below. If you don't tarp it on top, rainwater will fill up your "pool".
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:05 PM   #14
Firebrick43
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Pile some wood up and have a fire. Bacteria will take care of the rest
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:07 PM   #15
myredracer
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

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Originally Posted by WhiffySpark View Post
That's a 6 figure phone call.
Lol! But hasn't the EPA been completely defunded now anyway??

We're in the very southwest corner of BC. I have every intention of disposal in an environmentally safe and compliant manner. We have 5 acres but there is nowhere left to bury anything, clean or not.

I know in the past it was common to bury garbage in pits on private rural property and lord knows what got buried. When an excavator was digging up many tons of clay and dirt for our house, I noticed the sole of a boot and beside it, an intact teacup from just after WWII that says "Japan Occupied" on the bottom. How it survived, I do not know.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:07 PM   #16
joseywales
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

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Originally Posted by rlitman View Post
I'd be more worried about water entering from above, than contamination escaping from below. If you don't tarp it on top, rainwater will fill up your "pool".
Part f what I meant by clock ticking. A claimant had an under ground oil tank, he never knew had had, spring a leak. They raised his house, cleaned it up. But, it also ran to the neighbors pond, killing everything. You need to contain it.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:11 PM   #17
joseywales
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

By the way, I know nothing about burning off the type of issue. I do recall a town in PA that tried to burn up some trash. The underground fire they started in the 70s should go out in another hundred years, maybe. Good ol' Centralia. You can see the coal smoke coming out from under trees. Ruined the entire town.

Just make sure you know what's around before you strike a match
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Since the oil quantity is limited to no more than the capacity of the skid steer, I am in the build a fire camp as long as you do not have a burn ban in place. Building a burn pile over the soil where the leak happened with your rocks nearby will draw out the oil, burn it off and help power a nice weenie roast. Just make sure it is not shale or sandstone which is likely to explode when it heats up. What is left of the oil after this fire will be a smaller quantity and less likely to contaminate your water supply.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joseywales View Post
By the way, I know nothing about burning off the type of issue. I do recall a town in PA that tried to burn up some trash. The underground fire they started in the 70s should go out in another hundred years, maybe. Good ol' Centralia. You can see the coal smoke coming out from under trees. Ruined the entire town.

Just make sure you know what's around before you strike a match
LOL, you don't burn it in the ground.

You have a conveyor belt fed system that takes contaminated soil and runs it through a furnace.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: Oil soaked rocks + dirt - what to do with it?

Yep! Bonfire! stir it thoroughly as it burns down to draw the oil out of the dirt. Realistically, How much oil did you have to replace after the hose blew?
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