Residential oil storage tanks have been in use in the U.S. for over 60 years. There are both above ground tanks and underground tanks. Because many homeowners have switched to electric, propane and natural gas many of these tanks are now sitting unused. The problem with this is that without proper oil tank removal, many of these tanks are at risk of leaking and contaminating the environment. In other cases, the homeowner plans on continuing using oil, but this means that both oil tank replacement and the heating oil tank removal are necessary.
The underground oil tanks are a concern because they were never designed to last for such a long time. Many tanks are only designed for 20-30 years of use, after which they become liable to corrosion, leaks, and possibly even explosion or fire risk. This is what makes oil tank removal such a critical area for homeowners.
In addition to the dangers posed by oil tanks, homeowners are responsible for oil tank removal cost as well as any costs associated with contamination caused by a leaking tank. This means that when considering the purchase of an older property, you probably want to have the following things done:
– Have an experienced oil tank contractor inspect the property for any vent pipes, fill pipes or feed tubes that indicate the presence of underground oil tanks.
– Make the purchase of the property contingent on an inspection by a qualified oil storage tank locator.
– If a tank is located on the property, get an estimate from a licensed oil tank removal contractor for the cost of oil tank excavation and remediation if necessary. Costs should be borne by the seller.
– Make oil tank abandonment, oil tank removal, and remediation (if necessary) a condition of the sale.
Remember, it isn’t just property buyers who are responsible for oil tank removal and cleanup costs. If you currently own a home with an oil tank onsite you are responsible for any costs associated with that tank.
What to do with an abandoned oil storage tank on your property
Any abandoned or unused oil tank should either be properly abandoned or removed. This includes both underground and above ground oil tank removal.
What to do if your oil tank has leaked
If you have a leaking tank on your property you should immediately take steps to have the tank removed, the extent of the leak investigated, and the contaminated area remediated. If you are dealing with a tank that has been abandoned, you will also need a contractor who is capable or removing and disposing of any remaining oil. Environmental NJ Pros will actually pay you for any oil they remove. You should then have both the soil and groundwater tested to verify the presence or absence of contamination. If necessary you will need to pay for remediation to clean up the contaminated area. Any remediation should be performed by a licensed and qualified remediation expert who can then certify that the area is contamination free.