Readers ask: How Deep Are Fuel Oil Tanks Buried?

How deep are underground oil tanks?

While this is by no means typical, GreenTrax Inc has seen a few tanks with anywhere from 5 to 7 feet of dirt on top of them. But most commonly, you will find the TOP of the tank buried less than 4 feet deep. Again, the most common depth is 2 feet.

How do you know if there is an underground oil tank?

The easiest way to identify a potential buried fuel oil tank is to look for a fill pipe and vent pipe at the exterior of the home. Sometimes the pipes will go through the foundation wall of the home. When fuel oil tanks are removed, the fill and vent pipes need to be removed or cut off and filled with concrete.

Are oil tanks buried?

Underground oil tanks were common from the 1930s to the 1980s. Due to their size and unsightliness, as well as the risk of vandalism and theft, tanks were often buried, explains real estate attorney and investor Rajeh Saadeh.

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Are underground oil tanks bad?

The risks of an underground oil tank range from environmental and legal to financial and health-related. Even if the leak doesn’t reach the surface water, the health impacts of concentrated oil vapors can range from headaches and drowsiness all the way to more serious conditions if there is long-term exposure.

Can you fill an underground oil tank with sand?

Petroleum storage tanks once cleaned can be filled with an inert material, such as sand, concrete slurry or foam. Once a tank is cut opened and cleaned it is technically no longer a tank as it can no longer securely store liquid contents.

Do all oil tanks leak?

When underground heating oil tanks were first installed, they were cost-effective, efficient, and much more visually appealing for owners. Now, we know that burying oil in tanks is disastrous for the environment. Eventually, most (if not all) the tanks begin leaking in the soil, contaminating everything.

What happens when oil leaks into the ground?

If you don’t clean the soil, the gas and oil will move from the soil and pollute nearby streams, rivers and lakes. Site owners often resort to digging up soil and dumping it an landfill. The digging approach is hugely destructive. Above-ground buildings and plants are destroyed to dig massive holes in the ground.

Can you sell a house with an underground oil tank?

There are no town or state laws that prohibit selling a house that has a working underground fuel tank. Many of the issues dealing with underground tanks are driven by the marketplace and mortgage industry.

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How do you abandon an underground oil tank?

The wisest course of action for any homeowner who needs to abandon an oil tank is to contact a reputable company that will perform this work and provides a notarized Certificate of Abandonment that is filed with the appropriate local offices upon its completion. Steel oil tanks have a lifespan of 10-15 years.

Is it bad to buy a house with an oil tank?

Buying a house with an oil tank is one of the biggest financial liabilities a home buyer can assume. Bottom line, oil tank leaks are expensive and owners of contaminated sites are responsible to clean up these leaks. Environmental regulations dictate what is permissible amounts of oil that can remain in the ground.

How much does it cost to decommission an oil tank?

Removing an oil, fuel or water tank costs $1,149 on average and typically ranges between $533 and $1,811. Aboveground storage tank (AST) removal runs in the $300 to $1,500 range. An underground storage tank (UST) removal costs $1,000 to $3,500.

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