Archive for March, 2008

Concrete Sidewalk & Walkway, Bergen County, New Jersey: Holes Solutions!

Tips: If you are not physically up to heavy labor or don’t feel comfortable with the concrete finishing process, it may be wise to call in professionals ( ) . 

How to lay Concrete Sidewalk / Walkway!

Easy, all-weather access to your home or service areas is easy to accomplish with nearly maintenance-free concrete walkways. They can also lend to the beauty of your home by framing and putting your home on display as the centerpiece of your yard.

Things You’ll Need:
Concrete Forms
Concrete Tools And Concrete
Garden Hoses And Attachments
T Squares
Carts Or Wheelbarrows
Tool Sets
shovels, spades, & scoops

Set sidewalk forms in place. The standard width is three to four feet for main walks and two feet for service walks.
Set forms running parallel and at a height that is level with existing walks or at a level very close to that of the ground surface level for easy yard maintenance. Place a movable bulkhead at the working end so that you can pour amounts of concrete that are comfortable for you to work with. This technique works great when ready-mix concrete is used because it usually results in very little wasted concrete.

Prep the walk area carefully by removing all sod and loose dirt to the depth of the walk plus approximately two inches for a sub-base of sand or crushed rock. Make sure that any loose or spring-y soil is carefully compacted to avoid sinking, tilting or excess cracking later on in the sidewalk’s lifespan. Get some extra help from friends if the planned pour is a large one. Concrete work is heavy and tiring. There can never be too much help. Use a cross slope of one-eighth of an inch per foot in width away from any nearby structures to help with drainage. Use asphalt-impregnated joint material at points where the walk comes in contact with a structure or another large body of concrete (a driveway edge, patio edge, etc.) Be sure to cut control joints every 4 to 5 feet along the length of the walk. These run across the surface and are made with a groover.

Services available in Atlantic, Bergen,
Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem,
Somerset , Sussex , Union, and Warren Counties, including lower New York and Westchester County for homeowners, municipalities, construction companies, real estate agencies, plumbing supply, insurance companies, etc.


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New Jersey – New York Oil Tank Removal Closure Abandonment Help Guidelines

If you are installing a new oil tank or just switching over, the old oil tank still needs to be removed. If you have an oil tank located in the basement as many home owners do here is what you can do to remove the tank yourself. First thing you want to remove the entire vent and fill pipes using a wrench. Disconnect the union fittings from the pipes. Locate the shut off valve on the tank. Make sure the valves are in the off position.

Then take an adjustable wrench and remove the flare fittings from the copper tubing to the tee. You may want to use a small container or something to catch the excess oil that is in the lines. When you remove the fittings the oil will spill out. Then you can remove the shut off valves with a wrench. If you want lift one the tank, they should not be very heavy, place the tank on some risers. Make sure the fill tubes are empty, try draining the tank as much as possible. The last thing you want is oil all over the place.

Go outside and disconnect the section of fill pipe and any fittings that may be connected to the pipe. If you want to get creative with the tank before removal you can attach a pipe to the fill holes on the tank and create a makeshift handle for easy lifting. If you don’t have any help then that trick may work great for you. If you do have help then the removal of the tank will be easy. Once everything is disconnected you can remove the tank from the basement.

If you are by yourself you can possibly drag the tank up the basement stairs yourself with a hand truck or if you decided to make the handle you can put an old blanket or sheet on the stairs and drag the tank slowly up the stairs. Or if you have plywood you could slide the tank over the plywood with the handles you made.

You want to be careful when removing the tank not to do any structural damage to the house. Some basements are accessed through the home and then there are others that you can access through the outside. Some of these stairways are very narrow so you have to be very careful when removing the tank.

You can try two ways of getting rid of the tank, call your local oil company and ask them how it is done in your town, every town may be different with their rules so as to not incur any headaches later on find out what can be done as far as the oil company is concerned.

You can also bring the tank, if you have the means to a recycle center. Contact them first and let them know you will be bringing in an old oil tank. Maybe there is something that has to be done before dropping it off.

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City tracks down owners of oil tank that spilled in January

January spill led to 4,200 gallons of fuel oil in Waller Creek; discovery could help with liability. The City of Austin announced Tuesday that it has cracked the case of the ownership of the downtown underground storage tank that burbled up oil in January, sullying Waller Creek.

After a lot of digging through archives, city employees found records from a Dec. 8, 1910, City Council meeting in which the city gave permission to George W. Littlefield to place a fuel-oil storage tank “under the ground in the alley at the rear of his building.”

The fingering of the Littlefield Building could have implications for payment and liability associated with the spill.

Oil in the 15,000-gallon tank, which is about 31 feet long, was used to power a small generator that created electricity for the Littlefield Building, said Stan Tindel, an environmental compliance specialist with the city.

The classical beaux-arts, nine-story office building actually opened in 1912, and a ledger belonging to Littlefield at the University of Texas showed that between 1915 and 1918, the building received an average of 8,000 gallons of fuel-oil on the 10th of every month, according to Tindel. The tank was rendered obsolete in 1957, when the building was hooked up to the city’s electric grid.

It had sat forgotten until Jan. 10, when a broken waterline forced water into the tank, which sits beneath an alley just north of Sixth Street between Congress Avenue and Brazos Street. The alley is between the Littlefield Building and the Driskill Hotel.

The subsequent containment and cleanup included the removal of 4,000 gallons of sludge from the fuel-oil tank and 4,200 gallons of fuel oil from Waller Creek. The oil had flowed into the creek through a city storm drain system.

The cost for the cleanup stands at about $220,000, according to Lynne Lightsey, a spokeswoman for the city’s watershed protection department.

“We have not decided how to give the bill to the Littlefield, but we know they’ll be responsible for some of it,” said Thomas Bashara, a senior environmental compliance specialist with the city.

The building’s owner, a partnership called HVP, Austin Littlefield LP issued the following statement:

“The Littlefield Building will continue to investigate the oil spill incident and how best to address the cleanup and remediation of the spill. We are in communication with both the City of Austin and the Driskill Hotel, and until a definitive conclusion can be reached regarding the source and ownership of the oil spill, we do not feel it is appropriate to comment further.”

The tank is covered, for now, with sand and plastic tarp, and the alleyway just north of Sixth Street is closed to vehicle traffic. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is figuring out what to do with the old tank, which remains underground, Bashara said.

A spokeswoman for the commission said it has not yet determined who is responsible for the tank.

Bashara said research has uncovered records of at least 500 tanks being placed underground, most of them much smaller, but the city is unsure how many remain underground.

“What’s in the ground may be a very small number,” he said.

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Shipley Fuels fined $76,000 for DEP violations

An agreement reached between the state Department of Environmental Protection and Shipley Fuels includes a $76,000 civil penalty for violations at seven of the company’s gas stations and bulk fuel facilities.

The violations — which range from a failure to perform tank and piping release detection to a failure to maintain containment sumps — were discovered between October 2006 and January 2008.

Shipley owns and operates 41 underground gas storage tanks and bulk fuel facilities in south central Pennsylvania.

Two of the incidents included environmental violations, one at the Mechanicsburg Bulk Plant in Hampden Township and one at McCullough Oil Service in Springfield Township, York County. Shipley had releases of 135 gallons of off-road diesel fuel and 1,500 gallons of heating oil, respectively, due to delivery driver error.

The company is currently investigating both sites to determine whether there are any environmental problems.

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Cost to remove backyard oil tank soars to $11K

Homeowner seeks help disputing contractor’s charge

Q: I had a contractor give me a quote of $2,850 to remove an old oil tank. When they were done, they had ruined my backyard, and their bill was more than $11,000. I feel victimized, but don’t know where to turn. Thanks. –Roger A.

A: Without knowing the specifics of your agreement with the contractor, it’s difficult to imagine how they got from $2,800 to $11,000. However, generically here are my suggestions:

If you are disputing your bill, you should pay only those parts of it that you’re certain are legitimate, and ask the contractor for a full accounting of all charges. Do not pay for anything you are not certain that you owe.

If the charges are incorrect and the contractor cannot or will not provide you with a breakdown, contact your state or local contractor’s board and file a complaint. They will assist you with arbitration and negotiating some type of resolution. The same holds true if you feel the charges are valid but the contractor damaged your property and won’t reimburse you. The Department of Environmental Quality typically licenses tank removal companies, so you can also contact them for assistance with your complaints against this contractor.

Assuming you had a written contract with this contractor — you certainly should have, and you’re in a much tougher position if you didn’t — and the contractor is in clear and fraudulent violation of it, you probably have valid grounds for a lawsuit. That is never my first suggestion for dispute resolution, but if the above attempts at reaching an agreement don’t work, contact your attorney as soon as possible.

Q: I read that proper attic ventilation should be 1 square foot of ventilation area for every 300 square feet of ceiling area, and that it should be along the eaves and along the ridge. Does that mean a total of both high and low vents, or 1 square foot at the eaves and 1 square foot at the ridge? –Ruud G.

A: The ratio of 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic is for the combination of both high and low vents. For example, if you have an attic that is 1,200 square feet, you would need approximately 4 square feet of total vent area, split so that approximately 2 square feet is at the eaves and 2 square feet is at the ridge or in the gable ends.

This ratio is a general rule of thumb. In very wet climates, you may need to increase your ventilation to handle the higher moisture levels. Your best bet is to check with your local building department to see what the building codes in your area require.

Q: I want to break four electrical circuits into six or seven so that they don’t overload. How do I add new breakers? –Vinny L., via e-mail

A: The task you’ve chosen is a pretty difficult one, and unfortunately it involves much more than simply adding new breakers.

An electrical circuit originates at the electrical panel, and from there it can travel to a single location or it can loop through several outlets, switches, light fixtures or other electrical devices. To separate one circuit into two basically requires that the wiring for the entire run be located, and that a new wire be extended from a new circuit breaker to intercept the original circuit somewhere along its run. The circuit would then have to be cut and spliced in an approved junction box so that the original circuit breaker feeds part of the circuit, and the new circuit breaker feeds the remainder of it.

If this is even feasible depends on the size of the original wiring used, the method in which the circuit was looped from box to box, the size of the electrical panel, the accessibility of the wiring inside the walls and several other factors. So, while I’m generally in favor of do-it-yourself work on your own home, this is definitely one time where you need to call in the pros.

I would strongly suggest that you locate a licensed electrician who is experienced in remodeling and repair work. Have the electrician make a site visit to your home, do a thorough inspection of your electrical panel and circuits, and then make some specific recommendations as to why your circuits are overloading and what can be done about it.

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Oil Tank? More Like a Subterranean Monster

HOUSES, like people, tend to live double lives. They, too, have a visible existence and an invisible existence, a seen life and an unseen life. In the latter are those hidden systems, the pipes in the walls, the wiring, all that lies concealed between the sheathing and the Sheetrock. At our house, the most ominous of these unseen features is the oil tank buried just out past the porch.

The 500-gallon tank came with the house when we bought it years ago — years, that is, before we knew anything about the toxic hazards of buried tanks, years before the folly of burying fuel was even considered. Today, though, it is common knowledge that such tanks can break down after 20 to 25 years, and if oil leaches out from them and seeps into the groundwater, it will poison the water in your well, contaminate any adjacent wetlands and otherwise degrade the soil around it. Understandably, the fines are heavy. Not to mention the cleanup costs of tearing out the tank and removing all the contaminated dirt around it.

The Web sites that address this catastrophe-in-waiting are going to chill your bones. They did mine. In New York State, if a leak is discovered, you have exactly two hours to report it to the Department of Environmental Conservation. And if the leak is pervasive, and the dirt and groundwater are found to have traces of petroleum, the excavation and cleanup costs can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have heard of dire cases in which those costs equaled and even surpassed the value of the property itself. And forget your homeowners’ insurance; most policies have a “pollution exclusion” or something similar.

There are ways to tell if your tank is leaking. A leak toward the top of the tank would allow water seeping in to mix with the fuel oil, wreaking havoc with the furnace. And a leak toward the bottom of the tank would drain out the fuel oil, and you’d be refilling the tank at a steady clip. Neither of these has happened to us. Nonetheless, the tank has become a subversive presence in our domestic life. Sooner or later, any number of things, from condensation inside the tank to the acid in the soil around it, will cause it to rust.

So I think of the tank lying there as my own little Richard Serra nightmare of corroding steel, streaked, stained, its pattern of industrial decay creating picturesque graffiti across the monster arc of metal. Mr. Serra’s monumental steel sculptures explore how a hollow steel form can play with our perceptions; Lynne Cooke, curator of the Dia Art Foundation, wrote of one sculpture’s capacity for “tempering routine assumptions regarding the built environment and the spectator’s relationship to it.”

I no longer need to go to a museum to have such assumptions questioned. I am fully acquainted with the vertigo the hollow steel form can induce. And as far as my relationship to the built environment goes, I have come to understand fully that as our fuel tank gradually self-destructs, it will morph into a subterranean monster capable of destroying the value of our house, the land around it, our life in it.

When exactly this will happen is unclear. I am told that the old tank may have some sticker or label on it that states its gauge of steel — whether it is heavy-duty or double-walled and how long it is likely to last. But you would have to dig the thing up, of course, just to read it, and I realize that little sticker falls into the vast category of information that is vital, but impossible to find; much as you know that the facts have been researched, gathered and explicitly stated, but that you just can’t get to them.

While it is certainly possible to rip the thing out of the ground, have it sliced up and carted off for scrap metal, a less invasive procedure calls for abandonment. But unlike other forms of abandonment that involve nothing more than careless neglect, abandoning an oil tank requires a system, a plan and a partnership with the government, not to mention potentially thousands of dollars.

The desertion process begins with the installation of a new fuel tank or two above ground or in the basement, into which the oil from the old tank is siphoned. Whatever sludge remains is emptied into barrels and disposed of in a manner compliant with environmental regulations. Finally, a patch of ground above the old tank is removed, a two- or three-foot section carved out of its top, and the whole thing is hosed, scrubbed, scraped and degreased — not necessarily in that order — then filled with sand or peat gravel. The soil around it is tested for contaminants, and assuming it’s clean, you’re awarded a certificate.

There are innumerable reasons for the way we arrange and rearrange the places we live, among them a need for order, a desire for beauty, a hope for comfort. But replacing the old oil tank comes from another impulse, which is pure, blind fear — the fear of poisoning our little patch of green, of contaminating groundwater, of devastating wildlife and otherwise visiting ruin on something pristine and good and then depleting all our resources to clean the mess up. But most of all, I suspect the buried oil tank is a reservoir for that primal terror we all have about the things that lie buried.

To call it a fear of the unknown would be putting it lightly. It encompasses all the ambiguity, that deep apprehension of all things that reside underground. It is only as children that we imagine them to be treasures, because most sentient adults have some passing familiarity with the iconic malevolence of those things we try to bury.

And what represents it better than the corroding tank with its toxic load? As I make arrangements to have the thing properly abandoned, I realize it is one of those things you just get rid of without examining too closely. It lies in that catalog of things you do away with without ever knowing exactly how bad they really are. As the agent of a catastrophe that can only be imagined, it makes for one of the occasions in which you have to change what you cannot see, excise what you do not yet know

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Quality & Licenced Vacuum Excavation Services in New Jersey-New York!

Holes Solutions is a trenchless construction company that specializes in Subsurface Utility Engineering, Horizontal Auger Boring, Directional Drilling, Vacuum Potholing, Pipe Ramming, Pipe Bursting, Skidding, Large Diameter Tunneling, and Hand Tunneling.

Visit Website: or! Our Phone number: 1-877-7-DEPEND or 973-458-1188

Based in New Jersey, has been a leading company on New Jersey. Past clients range from engineering firms to municipalities to privately owned entities. Each benefiting from our unique ability to help redesign their structures, improve customer satisfaction, and increase their operational effectiveness. Just recently we were called upon by one of the largest oil refineries in the world, Hovensa, to assist in much critical pipline upgrades.

Over the years the business has adapted to specialize soley in trenchless technology and is currently recognized as the leading company in New Jersey. uses vacuum to safely uncover underground utilities and verify paint marks without damaging property or personnel. It is common to use high-pressure water or air to first dislodge the soil for easy removal by the vacuum system.

Many municipalities and government agencies no longer rely on paint marks, but now require all contractors to either hand dig or vacuum excavate utilities. Many no longer allow a backhoe to perform this task, because a backhoe will damage the utility a large percentage of the time.

We are ready to help in below towns:
Allendale, Alpine, Belle ville, Bergenfield, Bloomfield, Bloomingdale, Bogota, Boonton, Butler, Caldwell, Carlstadt, Cedar grove, Cliffside park, Clifton, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, East newark, East orange, East rutherford, Edge water, Elmwood park, Emerson lake, Englewood, Englewood cliffs, Essex falls, Fairfield, Fairview, Fair lawn, Fort lee, Franklin lakes, Garfield, Glen ridge, Glen rock, Hackensack, Haledon, Harrington park, Harrison, Hasbrouck heights, Haskell, Hawthorne, Hewitt, Highland lakes, Hillsdale, Hoboken, Hohokus, Jersey city, Kearny, Kinnelon, Lake hiawatha, Leonia, Lincoln park, Little falls, Little ferry, Lodi, Mahwah, Maywood, Midland park, Montclair, Montvale, Montville, Moonachie, Mountain lakes, newfoundland, New milford, North arlington, North bergen, North caldwell, North haledon, Nortrvale, Norwood, Nutley, Oakland, Oak ridge, Old tappan, Oradell, Packanack lake, Palisades park, Paramus, Park ridge, Parsippany, Passaic, Paterson, Pequannock, Pine brook, Pompton lakes, Pompton plains, Prospect park, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield park, Ridgewood, Ringwood, Riverdale, River edge, Rivervale, Rochelle park, Rockleigh, Rutherford, Saddle brook, Saddle river, Secaucus, South hackensack, Teaneck, Tenafly, Teterboro, Totowa, Towaco, Union city, Upper montclair, Upper saddle river, Verona, Waldwick, Washington, Wanaque, Washington township, Wayne, Weehawken, West caldwell, West milford, West new york, West orange, West paterson, Westwood, Wood cliff lake, Wood ridge, Wyckoff, , Aberdeen, Allamuchy, Allendale, Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Atlantic Highlands, Audobon, Avon-by-the-Sea, Barnegat, Barnegat Light, Bayhead, Bayonne NJ, Beachwood, Bedminster, Belleville, Belmar, Bellmawr, Berkeley, Berkeley Heights, Berlin NJ, Bernards, Bernardsville, Bethlehem, Bloomfield, Bloomingdale, Bogota, Bordentown, Boonton, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Brick, Bridgewater, Brigantine Beach, Burlington City, Burlington, Borough of Butler, Caldwell, Camden, Camden, Cape May, Carteret, Chatham Borough, Township of Chatham, Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill Connection, Borough of Chester, Chester Twp., Clark, Cliffside Park Online, Clifton, Closter, Collingswood, Colts Neck, Columbus, Cranbury, Cranford, Cresskill, Deal, Dennisville, Denville, Delanco, Delran, Dover, Dumont, Dunellen, East Greenwich, East Hanover, East Windsor, Eatontown, Edgewater, Edison, Egg Harbor, Egg Harbor City, Elizabeth, Elk, Englewood, Emerson, Englishtown, Evesham, Ewing, Fairfield, Borough of Fair Haven, Fair Lawn, Fanwood, Florence, Florham Park, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, FREEHOLD, Frenchtown, Frenchtowner, Galloway, Garwood, Gibbsboro, Glassboro, Glen Ridge, Glen Rock, Gloucester, Greenwich (Gibbstown), Hackensack, Hackettstown, Haddonfield, Hainesport, Hamilton, Hampton Borough, Harding / New Vernon, Hardyston, Harrison (Gloucester County), Harrison, Harvey Cedars, Hasbrouck Heights, Borough of Haworth, Borough of Hawthorne, High Bridge, Highland Park, Highlands, Hightstown, Hillsborough, Hillsdale, Hillside, City of Hoboken Interactive, Hoboken, Holland, Holmdel, Hopatcong, Hopewell, Howell, Irvington, Jackson, Jamesburg, Jefferson, Jersey City, Kearney, Kenilworth, Keyport, Knowlton, Lacey, Lakehurst, Lakewood, Landing, Lawrence, Lebanon, Leonia, Liberty, Lincoln Park, Little Egg Harbor, Little Ferry, Livingston, Lodi, Logan, Long Beach, Long Branch, Long Hill, Long Valley, Lopatcong, Lumberton, Madison, Magnolia, Mahwah, Manalapan, Manchester, Mantua, Maple Shade, Marlboro, Medford, Medford, Medford Lakes, Merchantville, Metuchen, Middlesex Borough, MIDDLETOWN, Millburn, Millstone, Milltown, Millville, Montague, Montclair NJ, Montgomery, Montvale New Jersey, Montville, Moorestown, Morris, Morristown, Mountainside, Mount Arlington, Mount Holly, Mount Olive, Neptune City, Borough of Netcong, New Brunswick, New Egypt, Newark, North Brunswick, North Plainfield, Nutley Oakland, Ocean City, Ocean Grove, Ocean, Old Bridge, Old Tappan, Paramus, Park Ridge, Parsippany Troy-Hills, Passaic, Pemberton, Pennington, Pennsville, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Pittman Borough, Plainfield, Plainsboro, Pleasantville, Plumstead, Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Borough, Pompton Lakes, Princeton Online, Princeton, Rahway, Ramsey, Randolph, Reading, Ridgefield Park, Ringwood, Rockaway, Roseland, Roselle Park, Roxbury, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Sayreville, Secaucus, Sewaren, Sea Isle City, Seaside Park, Scotch Plains, Shamong, Ship Bottom, Smithville, Southampton, South Belmar, South Brunswick, South Harrison, South Orange Village, South Plainfield, South River, Sparta, Spotswood Borough, Spring Lake, Springfield, Stafford, Stone Harbor, Stratford, Summit NJ, Surf City, Teaneck, Tenafly NJ, Tewksbury, Toms River, Trenton, Upper Deerfield, Upper Freehold, Ventnor City, Vernon, Verona, Vincentown, Vineland, Voorhees, Waldwick NJ, Wall, Warren, Washington Borough, Washington, Waterford, Wayne New Jersey, West Amwell NJ, West Caldwell, NJ, West Orange NJ, Westampton NJ, Westfield, New Jersey, Winslow NJ, Woodbridge, NJ, Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, Wyckoff, New Jersey

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