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Updated: Jul 10, 2023

GPR image of underground oil tank
GPR image of underground oil tank

What is an oil tank and what does it do?

An oil tank is a large container used to store oil. They are typically made of steel and can be found buried underground on properties. Oil tanks can pose several risks to property owners, including contamination of the soil and groundwater, leaks, and explosions. If you're thinking about buying a property that has an oil tank buried on it, here's what you need to know about oil tanks and the risks associated with them.

How can you tell if a property has a buried oil tank?

There are a few telltale signs that a property has an oil tank buried on it. First, look for a fill port or vent pipe on the property. This is typically located near the foundation of the house or in the basement. Second, look for any piping that goes from the house to an underground tank. This piping might be visible above ground or buried underground. Finally, check with the local zoning office or building department to see if there are any records of an oil tank on the property. Hiring a skilled professional trained in locating oil tanks is a sound investment in your property.

What are the risks of buying a property with an oil tank buried oil tank?

When it comes to buying a property, there are several things that you need to take into consideration. One of the most important is the presence of an underground oil tank or UST. While these tanks can be safely removed, the process is not always straightforward. In some cases, the tank may have already begun to leak, which can contaminate both the soil and the groundwater. Even if the tank is not leaking, there is still the risk of contamination if it is not properly maintained. Another risk is that the tank may not be up to current code standards. If the property is located in an area where construction is taking place, the tank may need to be replaced or upgraded to meet current safety requirements. Finally, there is the financial risk associated with buying a property that has an underground storage tank. The cost of installing a new tank can be significant, and you may also be responsible for any cleanup costs if there is an oil spill. Therefore, it is important to weigh all of these risks before making a purchase. In other cases, the tank may be located near essential utility lines, making removal difficult and expensive. As a result, it's important to have a professional oil tank sweep performed before making an offer on a property. This will help to ensure that you're not taking on more risk than you're comfortable with.

What should you do if you find out that the property you're buying has an oil tank buried on it?

When you're buying a property, it's important to be aware of any potential risks that could affect its value. One such risk is the presence of an underground oil tank (UST). While these tanks are no longer buried on properties built after the early 1980s, they can still be found on many older properties. If a UST is present, it's important to have it professionally inspected and removed before closing on the property. Failure to do so could result in costly environmental cleanup fees down the road. In addition, USTs can leak oil into the soil, which can contaminate groundwater and make the property less desirable. As a result, it's important to weigh the risks and benefits of buying a property with an underground oil tank before making a decision

How much will it cost to have the oil tank removed from the property?

If you have an oil tank on your property or the property you are purchasing, you may be wondering how much it will cost to have it removed. As the buyer, the responsibility falls on the seller, so finding a buried tank is imperative before closing on the property or the responsibility becomes the new owners. The answer depends on a few factors, including the size and type of tank and the company you hire. On average, a straightforward removal of an oil tank (which includes excavation and disposal) can cost anywhere from $1500 to $2,500. A removal of a buried oil tank in a difficult location, under a sidewalk or driveway for example, will have a significant added expense. The integrity of an underground tank is the biggest concern, a leaking tank could cost 10's of thousands of dollars and into the hundreds of thousands for large environmental remediation's. When choosing a company to remove your oil tank, be sure to get quotes from multiple providers and ask about any hidden fees. With a little research, you can find a reputable company that will remove your oil tank without breaking the bank.

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