Location: Hoover, AL
Five days before Christmas 2012, Alabama’s Hoover Fire Department was notified of gasoline vapors in the storm sewer at a local gas station. A report was forwarded to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). Per ADEM’s request, Bhate immediately mobilized to begin response activities. Initial field reconnaissance and observations confirmed that the suspected release was associated with the Hoover gas station. Bhate began monitoring vapor levels in the storm sewer and installed a vapor recovery from the sewer system. Bhate coordinated fuel removal from the tanks at the gas station. Six recovery wells were installed at the site to recover free product from the groundwater surface. Vapor recovery was initiated using large industrial-type fans over the storm drain in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. The fans created a negative pressure on the storm drain system and greatly reduced vapor emissions. Vapor concentrations in the storm sewer and sanitary sewer did not exceed 10% of the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) but reached Photo Ionization Detector (PID) levels of over 4,000 ppm. The combined efforts of product and vapor recovery greatly reduced vapor concentrations in the sewer. Approximately 200 gallons of gasoline and 1,505 gallons of fuel/water mix were recovered.