Underground Oil Tank Removal

People do not know when an underground storage tank is on their property. Many times the tank does not become an issue until the homeowner decides to sell their home and learns of the tank during an inspection – one to two weeks before closing! Before finalizing the sale of a house, lending institutions and homebuyers may want sellers to remove or decommission the abandoned heating oil tank. Ground Tech specializes in both excavating your underground storage tank or removing your above ground oil tank to take it out of commission.


Tank Removal:

If your home heating oil storage tank is buried underground, you probably already know that a leak could be very unfortunate – not only for the environment, but for your pocketbook. When an underground storage tank or connecting pipes leak the cleanup can be costly. And if your homeowner’s insurance policy contains a “pollution exclusion” clause, which many do, you could get stuck with the bill.

We first pump the tank to ensure that it is empty and then remove the tank itself. The tank is then transported off site to be cut, cleaned and scrapped. The fill and vent pipes will be capped and cut off or removed. The hole is then back filled and compacted and the ground cover or sod can be replaced.

In the case of replacing underground oil tanks, the best way to avoid significant expenses later is to have your tank taken out of the ground now and have a new tank installed in your basement, garage or storage shed.

You probably have questions about what this suggestion involves. Ground Tech has the answers.

Q: Why should I consider removing my underground storage tank?

A: Many underground home heating oil tanks are the same type of 275 gallon bare steel tanks you have probably seen in basements or garages. These tanks were not designed to be buried and, if left in place, will eventually rust and leak. Even larger tanks that were specifically designed for underground use can leak if they do not have adequate corrosion protection. These tanks do not last forever and leaks are inevitable over time.

If you notice an unexplainable sharp increase in your home’s heating oil consumption, your tank may be leaking. But that information alone is not always an accurate indicator. In some cases, leaks are found even after homeowners see oil consumption drop.
Your underground tank may not be leaking yet, the odds of a leak happening increase as the tank gets older. Even small, slow leaks can pose serious threats to your family, your neighbors and the environment if they go undetected. If your tank does leak- you may face a costly cleanup. Having your underground storage tank removed now can save you both money and anguish down the road.

Q: How much does an underground tank removal cost?

A: Ground Tech generally charges between $1,000 and $4,500+ depending on the size of the tank, its condition, and how easily it can be reached. The checklist in this guide includes a summary of services that your contractor should provide for this price. Usually not included in this price are the costs of a replacement tank, sampling/testing, cleanup (if a leak is detected), and landscaping after the removal is complete.

Q: Can I test my tank for leaks instead of digging it up?

A: Yes, but it may cost you less to simply remove your tank from the ground. It is important to consider that no test can predict what will happen next year, next month, or even the next day. Your money may be better spent on tank removal because you will have to dig the tank up if the test reveals it is leaking.

Q: Can I just empty the oil from my tank and leave it underground?

A: Yes, but it may cost you less to simply remove the tank entirely. It is important to consider that no test can predict what will happen next year, next month, or even the next day. Your money may be better spent on tank removal since you will have to dig the tank up anyway if the test reveals a leak.

Q: How will I know if my tank has leaked?

A: Contamination may be indicated by signs of a damaged tank or piping, soil that is stained or gives off strong oil odors, a sheen on the groundwater, or environmental test results.

Q: What if contamination is found?

A: First, don’t panic. The problem could be minor and relatively simple to correct. Simply contact Ground Tech and we will begin cleanup and removal right away. Addressing the problem now will limit release migration and is the first step in controlling costs associated with cleanup.