Environmental News # 001
By Ami Adini - October 15, 2014

Oil/Water Separator Impeding Redevelopment of a Commercial Property

In the middle of developing a historic auto-body shop, a developer ran into an oil/water separator mounted in the ground below the floor.

A diagram of a typical separator:

One large box made of pre-cast concrete, internally subdivided into chambers that are accessed for cleanups through manhole covers constructed of steel plate.

This device is variously called a clarifier, grease trap, grease interceptor, oil-water separator, oil-sand-water separator, or similar.

Here’s how ours looked from the surface. You can see the manholes, both covered and with the cover plates removed.

Clarifiers of ages past have leaked into the subsurface environment; they therefore pose certain concerns in transactions with properties that have them installed. These concerns can be removed in most cases.

The developer contacted our firm. With our guidance, in two days the clarifier was demolished, the soil underneath was sampled and tested for the contaminants of interest, and the excavation was certified clean to the relief of all concerned.

The ultimate goal – development – proceeded full throttle.

Ami Adini

Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini
Ami Adini & Associates, Inc.
Environmental Consultants
Underground Storage Tank Experts
818-824-8102; 818-824-8112 fax

Ami Adini is a mechanical engineer, California Registered Environmental Assessor, Level II (Exp.), and president of AMI ADINI & ASSOCIATES, INC. (AA&A), an environmental consulting firm specializing in all phases of environmental site assessments and rehabilitation of contaminated sites. AA&A specializes in practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.