Como Disposal Blog

What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Underground Oil Tanks

- Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Most business owners don’t know that there could be something lurking under their property waiting to drain them of all their money, unless they strike first and consider oil tank removal.  It sounds like a ticking time bomb and it might as well be; underground oil storage tanks (USTs) are much more common than you’d think.

Just underfoot

If you’ve never heard of underground oil storage tanks, it’s understandable.  We don’t use them anymore.  Homes built up to 60 and 70 years ago were heated with furnace oil as opposed to natural gas.  When this happened the USTs were either filled with sand or capped, lost to time.

Not so much.  After time, these tanks start to rust and any oil left over will seep out into waterways and soil, contaminating them.  This can drastically affect your property.

There are some pretty heavy legal issues apart from the fact that the value of the property goes down.  If USTs aren’t taken care of it can end up costing you a lot of money.  Luckily, there are some things that can be done.

Wow, what a hole

Removing buried oil tanks is the responsibility of the owner.  That means you.  Getting it done is important because you could be violating an Environmental Management Act.  You could be found liable for neglecting to deal with the problem, even if you didn’t know about it.

If you decide to get it removed, certified professionals should be the only ones to carry out the process.  Once they look at your property, they’ll start pumping out any remaining oil and disposing of it at a specialized facility.

Next the tank has to be taken out and the surrounding soil and groundwater have to be checked for contamination.  If there’s any found, the contractors might have to completely remove and replace them.

The lengthy process is topped off by a report with photo evidence the procedure was done to the letter.  So how do you go about this and how do you know if you’ve got a UST hiding underneath you?

Into the deep

Whether you’re looking at a property or already have one, you should consider a few things:

  • Property Disclosure Statement:  Have a look at this, if the previous owner disclosed there was no presence of a UST and there is one, they’ll be the ones liable, especially if it’s part of the contract.
  • Magnetic Survey:  If you suspect or are worried you have a UST, this is the first step to finding one and assessing contamination.
  • Hire an expert:  Find a qualified tank removal contractor and engage their services.  Make sure they provide you with reports in case you end up selling the property.

Don’t put this off

The key with underground oil tanks is not waiting.  The longer they lay underground, the more trouble it’ll be.  Oil tank removal is a far better option than paying hefty fines down the road and devaluating your property.

Are you looking for oil tank removal services around Toronto?

Como Disposal has been providing Toronto with oil tank removal services for over 40 years now!  We ensure that the job is done according to plan, while following safe practices and providing an affordable rate.  Fell free to contact us for more information about our oil tank removal services.

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