Should I Remove My Underground Oil Tank?

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If you have an underground oil tank on your property, it’s essential to know the risks and what to do to remove it safely.

You may be wondering, should I remove my underground oil tank?

The answer is YES.

Removing an underground oil tank is the best way to take care of any potential hazards before they become a bigger problem. 

What is an Underground Oil Tank?

An underground oil tank is any storage unit used for oil put beneath the surface of the ground. This can include buried pipelines or tanks, usually found in residential yards, schools, shopping centers, parking lots, and airports.

An underground oil tank is usually located in your yard because it provides an easy way for the oil company to access the tank.

However, one never removed many underground tanks once they had reached their capacity and became outdated, so sometimes, you may find empty tanks beneath your property.

How Do You Know if You Have an Underground Oil Tank on Your Property?

Your property may have an underground oil tank if you see one or more of the following things:

  • A large metal lid with no signage on it
  • Pipes coming up out of the ground
  • Oil stains around pipes, indicating leaks
  • Any tanks, pipelines, or equipment marked as containing flammable materials

Are There Significant Risks of Having an Underground Oil Tank on Your Property?

The following are some risks associated with having an underground oil tank on your property:

An Environmental Hazard

You may also want to consider an underground oil tank a potential environmental hazard- underground tanks can leak and contaminate groundwater, which can affect your healthy water.

If you don’t have an oil tank anymore or have been removed, you could still be affected by contamination from a previous owner.

Removing your underground oil tank is the best way to avoid these risks and ensure that your property is safe for your family and future homeowners in case something goes wrong.

The Tank Could Explode and Cause a Fire

If you have an underground oil tank on your property, it’s essential to be aware of the risks. One of the biggest dangers is that the tank could explode, causing a fire.

The most dangerous time for this is when the tank is being removed. The best way to avoid this risk is by hiring professionals with experience in underground oil tank removal.

The Tank Could Corrode and Release Oil into the Soil

Another risk of having an underground oil tank on your property is that the tank could corrode and remove fat from the ground.

This can contaminate the groundwater and soil and cause severe environmental damage.

Removing your underground oil tank is the best way to avoid these risks and ensure that your property is safe for your family and future homeowners in case something goes wrong.

Oil Could Leach Into Groundwater Supplies and Contaminate Them

If you have an underground oil tank on your property, it’s essential to be aware of the risks of groundwater contamination.

One of the biggest dangers is that the oil could leach into the groundwater supplies, contaminating them.

The best way to avoid this risk is by hiring professionals with experience in underground oil tank removal.

The Benefits of Removing Underground Oil Tank

  1. Removing an old oil tank eliminates the risk of contamination or explosion.
  2. It’s environmentally responsible and safe for the community.
  3. It can potentially save you a lot of money in potential costs from accidents or lawsuits
  4. You could receive federal or state tax credits or other incentives to remove underground oil tanks.
  5. Some insurance companies give partial discounts to homes with properly removed oil tanks.
  6. There’s an increased value to your property from having a safe, hazard-free environment.
  7. There’s no risk of neighborhood contamination or explosions due to aging underground tanks.
  8. You can rest assured that your family and pets are safer with a properly removed oil tank on the property.

How Do I Know if My Underground Oil Tank is Safe?

An underground oil tank that has been installed appropriately will typically have a concrete encasement to help prevent corrosion.

Though this is usually enough to make sure the tank is safe, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional who has experience in underground oil tank removal.

Any age can be safe, but there are potential time limits in some states regarding removing an underground oil tank.

Speak with your contractor about any state or federally mandated deadlines that may apply to you.

Legal Risks of Having Underground Oil Tanks on a Property

  • Abandoned tanks are subject to federal laws under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
  • Many states require the removal of abandoned tanks within a specific period after discovery or notification, depending upon which state you live in.
  • The owner is often responsible for paying to remove the tank and properly dispose of the oil.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have an Underground Oil Tank on My Property?

  • Hire a contractor who’s trained in inspecting underground tanks
  • Have your home inspected before buying it to make sure no underground oil tanks need to be removed
  • Determine the age of any underground oil tank on your property.
  • If you find out you have an underground oil tank on your property, make sure it’s adequately removed and recycled by a contractor who’s licensed to remove underground tanks.
  • Verify that your contractor is using safe work practices and has the proper equipment for removing underground oil tanks
  • If you have an underground oil tank, talk to your insurance company about possible discounts on your policy if it’s removed.
  • Keep children away from any uncovered or uncapped underground tank, and keep pets away.
  • Tell your neighbors if you have an underground oil tank on your property so that they can be aware of any potential issues.

How Do I Have an Underground Oil Tank Removed?

Has your oil tank been inspected by a professional with experience in underground oil tank removal?

Ensure that the contractor you use is properly licensed to remove underground tanks.

Your homeowner’s insurance policy might provide discounts on premiums for homes where an underground oil tank has been removed.

How Can I Tell if My Tank is Leaking?

Look for signs like odor, oil on the ground, and soil discoloration. You may also want to check with your local water utility to see if they’ve noticed any changes in water quality or quantity. If you notice any of these issues, it’s best to call a professional right away to prevent further damage.

Conclusion

If you have an underground oil tank on your property, it’s essential to know the risks and what to do to remove it safely.

You may be wondering, should I remove my underground oil tank? The answer is yes – it’s always best to take care of any potential hazards before they become a bigger problem.

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