Soil Testing – Important Step For Safe Oil Tank Removal


If you think your current oil tank has gone beyond it's usefulness, or you have a tank that's not in use sitting on your property, then you should learn about safe oil tank removal before you replace your tank. Many states and municipalities have rules and regulations regarding the removal of oil tanks. Before you begin the process of removing an oil tank from your property, notify your local fire department of your intentions. They oversee the process of removing oil tanks on behalf of your state's environmental protection agency.

They will make sure you follow the proper procedures to safely remove your oil tank, including helping you with soil testing. Keep reading to learn more about why oil testing is so important:

It's The Law

Most states have laws surrounding oil tank abandonment and removal, and the majority of these laws have stipulations that depend on whether or not the oil tank is leaking. So, the first step in removing an old oil tank from your property involves testing the soil around the tank. Any water supplies, pipes, and delivery lines near the tank must also be tested for contamination:

  • Checking the tank and all piping and delivery lines for holes

  • Looking at and recording the condition of the oil tank, piping, delivery lines, and soil

  • Documenting any visible oil stains and/or strong odors

  • Taking composite soil samples and analyzing them for petroleum constituents

  • Testing well water, local water supply, ponds, streams, and wetlands for contamination

The Test Results

If your tank isn't leaking, you may be able to abandon the tank. This means you can fill it in with sand or concrete and just leave it in place. The reason why this option is appealing is that it's much cheaper to abandon an old oil tank than it is to remove it.

If the soil around the tank is contaminated, then you will have to spend a lot of money on proper cleaning and tank removal. In some cases, even if the soil tests come back negative, you may still want to remove the tank so you never have to think about it again.

If you have any questions or would like more direction on contamination testing prior to removing the old oil tank on your property, contact your local fire department. You can also contact your state's environmental protection agency. For example, in Massachusetts you would call the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) or the Department of Fire Services (DFS) to give you answers and/or advice.

Contact a company like Small & Sons Oil Dist Co. to learn more.


11 June 2015

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