Buried oil tanks are a relic of older heating systems, common in many homes built before the shift to modern alternatives. While once a standard, these tanks now pose a potential threat due to corrosion, leaks, and environmental hazards. Identifying and mitigating these risks is crucial for homeowners to safeguard their properties and the surrounding environment.
Detecting the Presence of Buried Oil Tanks
The first step in managing the risks associated with buried oil tanks is to confirm their presence. Homeowners can start by checking historical records, property surveys, or speaking with previous owners to determine if an oil tank was ever installed. Signs such as disconnected vent pipes, abandoned oil lines, or patches of unusually healthy vegetation in the yard might indicate the tank’s location.
Professional Inspection: Consulting professionals trained in detecting buried tanks is advisable. These experts use specialized equipment like ground-penetrating radar or metal detectors to accurately locate and assess the tank’s condition.
Risks Associated with Buried Oil Tanks
Buried oil tanks, over time, are susceptible to corrosion, leading to leaks that contaminate soil and groundwater. Environmental contamination poses health risks and may result in costly cleanups. Moreover, leaking oil can seep into the foundation, causing structural damage to the property.
Environmental Impact: The leakage of oil from these buried tanks can be detrimental to the environment, affecting not only the property but also neighboring areas and ecosystems. It’s critical to address these risks promptly.
Resolving the Risks
Upon confirming the presence of a buried oil tank, homeowners should consider professional removal or remediation to mitigate potential dangers.
Tank Removal Services: Hiring a certified oil tank removal company is crucial. These companies possess the expertise and equipment necessary to safely excavate and dispose of the tank and any contaminated soil.
Remediation: If a leak is detected, remediation involves soil testing, cleanup, and ensuring no further contamination. This process may vary in complexity and cost depending on the extent of the damage.
Prevention and Future Precautions
For homeowners planning to replace their oil heating systems or in the process of buying a property with a buried oil tank, preventive measures are essential.
Regular Inspections: Regular inspections by professionals can help identify early signs of deterioration, preventing potential leaks and environmental hazards.
Tank Decommissioning: Properly decommissioning a buried oil tank involves cleaning it, removing any remaining oil, and filling it with an inert material to prevent collapse.
Buried oil tanks, once a standard practice, now pose considerable risks to homes and the environment. Identifying their presence, understanding associated risks, and taking appropriate action through professional removal or remediation are crucial steps for homeowners. Regular inspections, preventive measures, and timely interventions can help mitigate these risks, ensuring the safety of homes and the environment.
Remember, the expertise of certified oil tank removal companies is invaluable in addressing these issues. Prioritize the safety of your property and surroundings by addressing buried oil tank risks promptly and efficiently.