Oil leaks contaminate soils and underground water and tank corrosion cause metal poisoning. Whereas oil leaks reduce respiration of aquatic organisms, and cause their death. Three reasons warrant you to remove your tank are: tank leaks, upgrading and wearing due to old age.Also, it’s the law.
Leaking TanksAccording to the Fuel Oil Regulations, once you confirm a leak in your underground tank system, notify the Spill Action Centre of the Ministry of the Environment, and clean up the leak. Failure to do that will lead to legal action, if an environmental assessment report is missing, not to mention the spill containment. This is why you need to repair a leak as fast as possible.
Upgrading of the Tank SystemsCorroded tanks, leak detection devices and pressure transducers need to be constantly checked and replaced immediately if faulty, by a qualified contractor. The law requires that underground tanks, not in use for more than two years, or not intended for use, be removed. An underground tank is any tank supported by landfill material e.g. soil.
Old AgeSteel containers like tanks rust due to internal condensation and vagaries of weather. Single walled underground tanks, with no corrosion protection risk removal by law if more than 25 years old and no longer intended for use according to the Ontario Fuel Oil Code.
Similarly, any underground tank not used for more than two years and no longer intended for use ought to be removed regardless of age.
The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) also gives guidelines on removal or upgrade of underground tanks in the Ontario fuel Code as follows:
Underground tank less than 9 years be removed or upgraded by October 2009.
Underground tanks 10-19 years old be removed or upgraded by October 2008.Underground tanks 20-24 years old be removed or upgraded by October 2007.
What to Do
- You register your storage tank with the TSSA at no cost to enable the authority register you with an oil distributor easily.
- Your tank is inspected annually for leaks and integrity of the burner equipment’s.
- Your fuel storage tank is comprehensively inspected by a registered TSSA oil burner technician once every 10 years and as soon as possible.
- Seek a contractor who can offer you the lowest cost of upgrading, maintenance and removal of your tank and:
- Handle dangerous goods transportation.
- Provide a Certificate of Tank Removal to you for insurance needs.
- Is qualified by having a Petroleum Equipment Mechanics (PM-2) license.
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