Oil Tank Removal VS. Oil Tank Abandonment

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Oil Tank Removal VS. Oil Tank Abandonment

Margot News, Tank Services

How do you heat your home? If you use oil to heat your home, you most likely have a large oil tank sitting in your basement, known as an aboveground storage tank (AST). While not common, some homeowners source their fuel for home heating through an underground storage tank (UST), which sits hidden in their yard. When converting to gas heat, leaving an UST inactive and in the ground is not legal or environmentally sound. Inactive oil tanks can pose a threat to your property’s value and the surrounding environment, so it is best to have them removed. However, a possible alternative option is called tank abandonment. We have provided more information on both methods to assist you in making the best choice for your home.

Environmental Impact & the Effect on Your Property

There are several core differences between oil tank abandonment and removal. Let’s explore the each process to help you choose the method that best suits you. All options below require proper permits be obtained from the local fire department.

Aboveground Oil Tank Removal: Before the tank can be removed, all liquid and solid material inside is removed safely and prepared for disposal. Once this is complete, the tank is ready to be removed. The process generally takes a few hours and during this time the tank may be cut into pieces to aid in the removal from your property, and all associated piping is also removed including the fill pipe. Any openings in the foundation are filled and sealed.

Underground Oil Tank Removal: As with the AST, all material inside the tank must be removed before the removal process can begin. After breaking ground, the tank is safely uncovered along with all associated piping to your home and is removed from the ground. PMST provides all the backfill and returns your property to its original grade before transporting your tank to a licensed tank disposal yard.

With these options, you will be removing an environmental risk factor, reducing liability and increasing property value.

Oil Tank Abandonment: Compared to the removal process, this is a much simpler method, however new regulations prohibit the circumstances in which one has the opportunity to use this process.  There are only two considerations in which the Department of Environmental Protection would allow a tank to be permanently closed underground. One; the tank is located under a building and cannot be removed without damaging the structural integrity of the building. Two; the tank cannot be removed without endangering the structural integrity of another UST system, underground piping or an underground utility.  If your tank qualifies for tank abandonment, the process begins like a traditional removal. Any liquid or solid material is removed from the tank and the tank is cleaned. Soil analysis is performed from beneath and beside the tank.  Then, with approval, a concrete slurry is poured into the newly cleaned tank, and the abandoned tank is left on your property.

For more information on oil tank removal services in Wakefield & the Greater Boston area, contact our team at Petroleum Management Services.  We also offer oil tank maintenance and inspections. Call us today 781-245-3305.