Underground Heating Oil Tank Abandonment
Almost all houses built before the mid-1960s used heating oil which was stored in either an underground storage tank (UST) or above ground storage tank (AST).
Since an underground heating oil storage tank is out of sight and therefore out of mind, a homeowner may not even know that an oil tank exists on the property.
After about 20 to 30 years of use an underground tank will develop rust or corrosion holes and begin to leak posing a number of environmental and health risks. Water begins to accumulate at the bottom of the tank and eventually affects the heating system which then stops working properly.
At this point, the options are
- Replace the leaking tank with another buried tank
- Abandon the underground tank and change to an above ground tank
- Convert to natural gas if natural gas is available in the area
Legally abandoning an underground fuel oil tank in-place involves accessing the tank, removing the contents, properly cleaning it and filling it with a material such as sand or cement. Having your tank abandoned, cleaned, and filled with clean sand is the most cost effective way to eliminate the chance of creating an environmental hazard such as oil leakage and/or a tank collapse hazard.
Legal Underground Fuel Oil Tank Abandonment
- Locate and dig down to oil tank
- Cut open tank
- Drain and remove oil, sludge and oily water
- Drain and clean tank
- Fill tank with sand or cement
- Backfill and patch over cement
- Provide tank abandonment affidavit
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