Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Athena have left many homes and businesses in New Jersey, New York and surrounding areas devastated. People affected are now faced with some pretty tough disaster recovery challenges, including what to do about contaminated flood waters in basements.

In addition to many other types of damages, the recent storm surge brought devastating floods to areas near shorelines, lakes and rivers. Thousands of homes and businesses are now suffering with flooded basements, crawl spaces, and boiler rooms. The wastewater saturating these areas may contain dangerous contaminants including various types of oil. This fact needs to be considered prior to any basement pump out due to disposal considerations.

Homes or businesses being served by oil heat should use extra caution. Flood waters may have caused the oil tanks to come loose from the flooring or the tanks could have been ruptured by other debris. In either case, oil from the tank is likely to have contaminated the flood water. Other sources of contamination include gas tanks or gas powered equipment that may have been stored in basements or storage rooms.

Russell Reid urges residents to use caution when trying to remove flood water from their home or business. A professional should be called to pump the contaminated water, especially if they see an oily sheen or if they smell fumes. Without the proper wastewater pumping equipment, these efforts may result in causing more damage to the property and may harm the environment.

Proper disposal of oil contaminated wastewater is mandated by the EPA. This type of wastewater poses serious threats to people, animals and to our environment if not cleaned up properly and disposed of at an approved facility. Under no circumstances should oil contaminated wastewater be discharged outside to the ground or in to the storm sewers. This will result in the contamination of local drinking water wells and waterways.

Russell Reid is well versed in the pumping, removal and disposal of many types of wastewater and can help perform basement pump out services for anyone affected by the recent storms in NJ and NY. In addition, Russell Reid’s Regulatory and Compliance Department can work to identify a local permitted facility to accept the material for proper disposal, even with the storm related closure of a number of disposal sites in the area.

For more information on basement pump out services for oil contaminated flood water in NJ and NY, please contact Russell Reid at 800-356-4468.