AUGUSTA, ME – November 24, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), working closely with the Town of Patten and the Maine Rural Water Association, is overseeing the replacement of approximately 30 home heating oil tanks in the wellhead protection area of the Patten Water Department.
Wednesday, December 8th, 9 am – 3 pm
Patten Historical Society, 38 Main Street, Patten
To better protect the community drinking water well of the Patten Water Department, the DEP is replacing old, rusty unstable substandard oil tanks in downtown Patten. They are being replaced by new tanks made of thick polyethylene plastic and surrounded by a sheet metal jacket. These double wall tanks will not rust, and in the rare case of a leak, provide what is called “secondary containment” to capture any oil that escapes the primary tank.
“The DEP responds to an average of one spill a day from residential aboveground home heating oil tanks,” notes DEP environmental engineer Peter Moulton. “The number one cause is internal corrosion. Replacing a rusty steel tank with one that will not rust just makes good sense.”
The oil tanks removed cannot simply be replaced with new tanks of the same old type. A Maine law, which became effective in July of 2009, requires new or replacement home heating oil tanks within the wellhead protection area of a community water supply well be “double wall” or have “secondary containment”. This new law aims to prevent oil spills. Spills from corroded home heating oil tanks, broken filters (when snow and ice come off the roof and snap the filter off), and overfills often contaminate wells. These spills cost the state between one and two million dollars a year.
This project, along with the removal of underground gasoline storage tanks and contaminated soil at the site of the former Patten General Store, is being undertaken to prevent Patten’s drinking water well from becoming contaminated. This proactive approach to eliminate a threat to Patten’s water supply is achieved through a grant from the Ground Water Cleanup Fund, established in 1990.
Note: The building which houses the Patten Historical Society is currently unheated, attendees are advised to dress accordingly.
David McCaskill 207-287-7056 Peter Moulton 207-287-8161