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EnviroPhysics, Inc.
Tank And Drum Surveys
Finding buried steel fuel tanks or drums on a site is a specialty of EnviroPhysics, Inc. Since its founding in 1989, over 2,000 buried tanks and untold numbers of drums have been detected.

The geophysical approach needed for a successful drum or tank survey is completely site dependant. There are some sites where all that is needed is a good industrial metal detector. In others, a full suite of geophysical tools is needed, including metal detection, magnetometry, line tracing, EM conductivity, time domain EM and ground-penetrating radar.
High-resolution metal detection survey for drums in Bayonne, NJ
The GSSI profiler EMP-400 is the newest electromagnetic conductivety meter on the market. It has a built-in GPS receiver which allows for geo-referenced data collection even in remote areas far from roads or buildings.
EMP-400
An analog electromagnetic conductivity meter capable of detecting metallic targets up to 20 feet deep and mapping subtle changes in terrain conductivity.
EM-31
A digital electromagnetic conductivity meter capable of mapping areas of buried conductive materials, drums or tanks.
GEM-2
Geonics EM-16HH Metal Detection Sensor Whites DL 6000 Metal Detector >
The Geonics EM-61HH Metal Detection Sensor is a high resolution sensor for use with the EM-61 time domain digital metal detector. The Whites DL 6000 Metal Detector is a professional grade analog metal detector designed to locate small metallic target up to 2 feet deep.
That is why the EnviroPhysics, Inc. field van always carries every geophysical tool that might possibly be needed. Some of the equipment may only get used once or twice a year, but having it on hand for those times is priceless.

Most drums and tanks are made of metal. Metal detection surveys are therefore critical in any successful drum or tank detection approach. Some metal detection equipment (like the EM-31 and Gem-2) can locate buried drums up to ten feet deep or deeper and can often even detect areas where non-metallic debris are buried.

In locations near rail beds (where ash and coal deposits can interfere with most detection equipment) the EM-61 has no trouble detecting drums or tanks, even deeply buried ones. If high-resolution metal detection is needed (for example, closely spaced pipes or small metal objects) then the EM-61HH or DL-6000 detectors are what is needed.

Most buried steel or iron objects affect the path of the earth's magnetic field near them. That gives rise to an area of high positive magnetic field at one end and another (negatively charged) on at the other end. A fluxgate like the GA72CD can help locate the ends of a tank and also helps distinguish between a tank and buried metallic debris.

In other words, to get a good handle on whether you have a tank or drum in the ground, you often need to use several geophysical techniques. How and when to use them is a knowledge that only comes from experience.
Radar Data showing five tanks at a depth of approximately 3 feet
Samples Of A Tank Detection Survey
High resolution metal dectection survey data
Suspected tank marked in the field
Once detected, the tank can be cleaned and removed safely