underground oil tank

A Quick Guide To Removing An Underground Oil Tank

in Sustainability by

Underground oil tanks were commonly used from the 1930s to the 1980s to hold large amounts of liquids underground on residential and commercial properties. Because of the way they are constructed, some fail due to corrosion or damage from natural elements. When this happens, a property owner may find that removing the tank is the best option for remedying the problem.

Removing an underground oil tank can be a complicated endeavor. Due to the size and location of the tanks, professional help is generally needed for the removal. Here are the things that property owners need to know when considering removing an underground oil tank. 

Signs That An Underground Oil Tank Is Leaking

An underground oil tank can leak for years before the property owner detects the leak. The most common signs are dead vegetation in the area of the tank, discolored or distasteful tap water, water in the fuel lines, and increased consumption of fuel without reason. If any of these signs are recognized, an underground tank testing company should be contacted right away.

The Concerns Associated With A Leaking Tank

Leaks from underground oil tanks can pose a serious threat to the environment and the public’s health. These leaks can contaminate the surface, ground, and drinking water, as well as the soil at the site of the leak. It has been estimated that there are about 200,000 sites across the United States that have been contaminated by these types of leaks.

The costs of repairing the damage from underground oil tank leaks can be considerable. If the oil has contaminated the soil, removing the soil can run between $12,000 and $20,000. If groundwater has been contaminated or the leak is large, the costs can be quite a bit higher.

Because most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage caused by leaking tanks, many property owners choose to remove the tanks before a leak occurs. If the tank is not leaking, it can generally be removed at an average cost of about $2,000.

Steps For Underground Oil Tank Removal

Before an underground oil tank can be removed from the ground, it must first be emptied of any oil and thoroughly cleaned to get rid of any lingering oil or vapors. Once it is ready to be removed, it will be dug from the ground and removed from the property by a trailer. The tank must be properly disposed of according to regulations to be reused or recycled. 

Reasons To Hire A Professional Tank Removal Service

Professional tank removal services have the knowledge and equipment to deal with old or obsolete underground storage tanks. In nearly all cases, removing an underground oil tank requires specific permits and professionally trained technicians. The costs of removing an oil tank depend on several factors, including size, location, and structural stability, so be sure to get a quote before work commences. It is generally cheaper to remove a tank that is horizontally constructed than tanks that are constructed vertically.

The regulations regarding the removal of underground oil tanks vary from one state to the next. Some states require the removal of the tank if it is no longer in use, regardless of whether it is leaking. Some allow tanks to remain in the ground as long as they are 100% filled with an inert material. Others have no regulations regarding the removal of underground oil tanks at all. Professional removal services will be well-versed in the federal, state, county, and municipality regulations regarding tank removal in your area.

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