Oil tank removal is essential for many homes and businesses. Oil tanks, both residential and commercial, can pose a risk to the environment and public health if not properly managed. That is why it is important to make sure that these oil tanks are regularly removed in order to prevent any accidental or environmental issues. Here is essential information about residential oil tank removal that all homeowners should know.
Understanding the Safety Risks of Residential Oil Tanks
Oil tanks are a common feature of many homes, but they also come with certain safety risks. Even a relatively small leak or spill can contaminate soil for decades and carry to other areas nearby through groundwater. Additionally, if the tank is located in the basement, vapors may enter the home, which can be hazardous over longer periods.
Before an underground oil tank can be removed, it must be emptied and cleaned. Once it is ready to be removed, it will be dug up and taken away on a trailer. The tank is then disposed of properly, and can sometimes be recycled or reused.
Realsors typically advise home sellers to remove any underground oil tanks before listing, as potential buyers may be wary of the risks. Furthermore, if the tank were to leak, it could lead to costly remediation and decommissioning, which may not be covered by homeowners insurance.
It’s important to keep these four safety issues in mind when considering residential oil tanks:
- Tank Vapors: If pipes from the tank run through parts of the home, such as the basement, then a leak or problem with the tank or fuel lines can create detectable vapors. These vapors can have serious long-term health effects, even if the odor is only present in one area.
- Drinking Water Contamination: If the tank is too close to a well, then a leak can lead to oil contamination in the groundwater supply.
- Soil Contamination: Leaks from basement tanks can escape into the soil and surrounding environment.
- Fire Hazard: Leaky basement tanks can also create a fire hazard due to the presence of oil.
By understanding the risks associated with residential oil tanks, you can make an informed decision on whether or not to have one in your home.
Preparing for an Oil Tank Removal
Abandoning an old oil tank is not recommended since it may still be leaking even if it is no longer in use. It is best to remove the old tank and properly dispose of it to avoid any environmental hazards.
Knowing Local Regulations for Oil Tank Removal
Oil tank removal cannot be completed on your own since specialized knowledge and experience will be necessary to meet the oil tank installation code and removal regulations. Homeowners should turn to oil tank replacement professionals, especially for removing and disposing of old heating systems.
In the yellow pages of the telephone book under “Environmental and Ecological Services” are listed environmental consultants who can arrange the entire job of removing, cleaning, and disposing of the tank.
Many homeowners have the heating oil company from which they purchased the oil, also pump the tank.
Have the tank professionally cleaned before removal.
There are usually tank cleaning firms listed in the yellow pages of most telephone books under “tank cleaning” and “environmental and ecological services.”
Contact the local authorities to see if any permits are required for tank excavating.
Remove the pipes and tank unless removing them would threaten the structural integrity of a nearby building.
Dispose of the tank properly.
Preferably, the tank should be taken to a salvage yard for recycling.
Contact the local salvage yard for more information.
If a salvage yard is not available, contact the local landfill for more information.
With both underground and aboveground storage tanks, if it appears a release of product occurred (dark stains in the soil, soils that smell oily or like gas, an oily sheen on water in the excavation), it is recommended that the homeowner or their designated representative report the release to the Remediation and Redevelopment Division.