Oil can leak from even the smallest pinholes in an underground oil tank, contaminating the surrounding soil and groundwater. While soil testing NJ is mandatory if an inspection of a tank being removed or decommissioned shows evidence of leakage, in some cases there are leaks that are not discovered. A small pinhole can easily disappear against a dark soil background or when embedded in years of rust and corrosion. If you are decommissioning an underground oil tank, or are buying a property with an underground oil tank, getting your soil tested is a wide decision.
When it comes to soil testing, New Jersey labs have an unparalleled reputation. There are many benefits of soil testing that go beyond the simple NJDEP requirements. While it is best to have professionals test your soil, soil testing kits are available from Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension.
If this isn’t a good option for you and you are still wondering where can you get your soil tested, ANCO Environmental Services can provide soil testing for you. Simply contact us to request an appointment.
Is Soil Testing NJ Recommended as part of a Real Estate Inspection?
A common scenario is one where someone is looking to purchase a property which has an underground oil tank that has been abandoned or decommissioned. The tank has been cleaned and filled with an inert material and the seller has certifications from the proper authorities that the tank was properly taken out of service. The inevitable question in this case is whether or not soil testing is necessary around this tank.
Even if the seller has certifications that the tank was decommissioned properly, if they cannot provide a soil test report from when the tank was decommissioned we recommend that soil testing be done. Just because the tank was properly decommissioned does not necessarily mean that there was no contamination prior to the decommissioning.
In recent months many homeowners have discovered that they have contamination around buried abandoned oil tanks, even though the municipality has certified that the tank was decommissioned properly. These homeowners all bought the properties based on decommissioning reports, but neglected to request a soil test report.
Now when these people try to sell their homes, buyers are doing soil tests. And they are finding high contamination levels around these tanks that were certified as properly taken out of service. Remember that a decommissioning certification does not mean that the surrounding soil is uncontaminated. The really sad news is that these homeowners are now on the hook for the cleanup costs of the contaminated soil. Clean up for an oil leak like this can range from $8000 to tens of thousands of dollars. Had the homeowners requested soil samples before buying they wouldn’t be unfairly burdened with these expenses now.
If you are considering purchasing any property with an abandoned oil tank that has not had soil testing performed, contact Environmental NJ Pros today to verify the status of the soil around the abandoned tank. You don’t want to be surprised years from now when trying to sell the property yourself.