Oil Tank Removal: Important Information For Homeowners

Posted on: 20 October 2018

The last thing a homeowner expects to find in their backyard is a buried oil tank. For some homeowners, the discovery occurs because of the sudden discovery of a suspicious depression in their lawn or repeatedly noticing an oily sheen in a puddle of rainwater. For other homeowners, the discovery of an old oil tank can happen suddenly, such as during the excavation work for the installation of a pool or the foundation for an outbuilding. Still others may have purchased or inherited a property that was once heated by oil, only to learn that an underground oil tank might still be present. No matter how the realization is made, homeowners who will be dealing with the removal of an oil tank must understand the potential problems they face. 

Is leaving the oil tank in place an option? 

While it may be legally possible to leave an unused underground oil storage tank in place in some areas of the country, doing so can cause serious problems, including: 

  • the formation of a sinkhole that could cause injury to people or pets
  • the leaching of oil residue into water wells and soil
  • the risk of being held financially responsible, should soil or water contamination occur
  • difficulties in selling the property with an old tank in place

While rare, there have even been some instances of explosions occurring due to an underground oil tank. 

Is an inspection and permit process required to remove an underground oil tank? 

Because many old oil tanks, even those that have gone unused for years, may still contain enough oil or oil residue to cause a serious contamination or safety issue, many incorporated areas require the removal process to include site inspections and a permit process. To determine what oversight exists in your area, contact your local planning and zoning office, the health department, or soil and water conservation department. 

Does an oil tank removal require excavation? 

In most cases, excavation at some level is required. However, skilled oil tank removal services strive to minimize the excavation process, often by cutting the tank into smaller pieces to remove it instead of leaving it intact. 

The discovery of a buried oil tank in the back yard is not an experience that homeowners hope to have but it does happen far too often. If you find yourself facing this problem, calling upon an experienced, reputable oil tank removal service, likeA & A Oil Recovery Co, will help you arrange an expedient removal, according to all local, state, and federal laws. 


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