Whether you’re upgrading your heating system, looking to sell your home, or considering buying one, an underground oil tank can be a large factor in your decision. Options like underground oil tank removal or replacement can require a lot of research, and as your tank experts we’d like to help.
Underground oil storage tanks often remain unnoticed for years, even decades, especially if they have been abandoned in place. We’re often posed questions from our customers about underground oil tank removal and replacement. We’d like to provide some answers for you that will hopefully prove helpful in your research.
How Do I Know If There’s An Underground Oil Tank On My Property?
If you’re unsure if there is an underground oil tank on your property (or where it is located), don’t worry. It can be easily found using a metal detector, ground penetrating radar, or a magnetometer sweep. These methods will determine the location of the tank, and let a certified professional evaluate the scope of work that needs to be done for the removal/abandonment and replacement.
When Should You Remove An Underground Oil Tank ?
While there is no law in place requiring the removal of an underground heating oil tank prior to sale, many home owner’s insurance companies will not insure a home with an underground oil tank, and some banks may even require underground oil tank removal before they will finance the home.
If the tank is older, removal of the tank sooner rather than later is always advisable. A leaking underground storage tank can be costly if soil remediation is required, not to mention damaging to the ground water and environment.
What’s Involved With An Underground Oil Tank Removal?
If you’re unsure if there is an abandoned underground oil tank on your property, the first step is ascertaining if there is one and where it is located. This is easily accomplished using a metal detector, ground penetrating radar, or a magnetometer sweep. These methods will determine the location of the tank, and let a certified professional evaluate the scope of work that needs to be done for the removal.
Once the location is determined, a certified professional like the ones on the 7 Oil Company Tank Division team can evaluate the extent of work that will need to be done. This can vary from home to home, and is determined by factors like the location and size of the tank, the amount of excavation to be done, and any structures, trees, fences or other impediments to the excavation. If liquid remains in the tank, it must be evacuated and disposed of at a permitted recycling or disposal facility.
When the underground oil tank is uncovered, a hole is cut in the tank so a technician can enter and thoroughly clean the tank in place. The tank is then removed and inspected for obvious signs of ruptures or leaks, as is the soil around the excavation site. Your local municipality will inspect both the excavation and the tank itself. Once this municipal inspection is complete, the excavation is backfilled and the job is done. We highly recommend one extra step to our customers: obtaining at least one soil sample to be tested for Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbon (EPH) levels.
If The Levels Are Too High?
If the levels of petroleum hydrocarbons are found to be too high, then certain further steps must be taken to adhere to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regulations and obtain a “No Further Action” letter. This letter is essentially a ‘clean bill of health’ for the property. Contaminated soil must be excavated and transported to a fully permitted recycling facility, and replaced with certified clean fill.
While excavating contaminated soil, the soil is continuously monitored and screened for the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons while it is loaded directly onto transport vehicle to be taken to the recycling facility. Once this screening process indicates acceptable levels according to DEP guidelines, final confirmatory soil samples are taken and analyzed, and a report is given to the DEP so that the No Further Action letter can be obtained.
The excavation is filled with certified clean fill dirt, and generally compacted and raked to existing grade. You as the homeowner can then sit back and enjoy your new yard, knowing that duly licensed and certified professionals have taken care of everything for you.
We hope this has taken some of the mystery out of underground oil tank removal for you. If you have questions that weren’t covered in this article, or would like further information, please give us a call at 856-786-0707 or email us!