Oil Tank Removal vs. Oil Tank Abandonment

Which Option is Best: Oil Tank Removal or Oil Tank Abandonment

Oil tank removal and abandonment are two options for dealing with old and unused underground oil tanks. Both methods have pros and cons. Their choice depends on various factors. These factors include the tank’s condition, local regulations, and the property owner’s preferences.

Oil Tank Removal

Oil tank removal involves the complete excavation and removal of the tank and all associated piping, followed by proper disposal of the tank and any remaining oil or sludge.

Typically this is the most expensive option, but it offers several benefits over abandonment, including eliminating environmental risks, improving the property’s value, and it assures the removal complies with local municipality regulations. Next, we explain a bit about each.

Elimination of Environmental Risks

Old and unused oil tanks can leak or spill, contaminating soil and groundwater. Removing the oil tank entirely and any remaining oil within eliminates the risk of environmental damage, providing no remaining oil contamination to the ground and groundwater is present.

Improved Property Value

Potential buyers often see properties with old oil tanks as less desirable. However, keeping the proper records showing the oil tank has been completely removed by a professional oil tank removal company allows you to market your property at the highest value.

Compliance With Local Regulations

Many municipalities have specific regulations regarding the removal of unused oil tanks. The property owner can ensure compliance with local laws by removing the tank with a professional.

The Oil Tank Removal Process

The process of oil tank removal typically involves the following steps:

Site Inspection

A professional, licensed and insured oil tank removal contractor will thoroughly inspect the property to determine the location and condition of the tank and any associated piping. In addition, choosing a company that is an expert in soil assessments and remediation services allows for additional testing of the surrounding soil and groundwater.

Tank Excavation

Excavation uses heavy equipment such as excavators or backhoes to dig and remove the oil tank and any associated piping.

Tank Disposal

After the oil tank is lifted from the ground and on a specific truck, it will be transported to a licensed facility for proper disposal. Working with the right oil tank removal company with vacuum trucks can ensure this and the appropriate removal of oil and remaining sludge are adequately disposed of.

Site Restoration

Once the tank has been removed, the excavation site will be backfilled, and the surrounding area will be restored to its original condition. If there is soil and/or groundwater contamination, hiring a company that is an expert in this field will also provide these services.

Oil Tank Abandonment

Oil tank abandonment involves the process of rendering an oil tank inoperable and leaving it in place underground or above ground. Typically a less expensive option than removal, but it also has some drawbacks, including environmental risks, reduced property value and may lack the proper local regulations.

Environmental Risks

Abandoned tanks can still leak, contaminating soil and groundwater, leading to environmental damage and potential liability for the property owner.

Reduced Property Value

Quite often, properties with abandoned oil tanks are less desirable to potential buyers. This can result in a longer time on the market. In addition, when a buyer wants to purchase, they generally want the tank removed before closing, which the seller will pay for. Unfortunately, if contaminated soil is found, the deal will fall through and can be extremely costly.

Unusable Land

With an abandoned tank still under the ground, the land will be unusable in the future until it is properly removed and the soil is thoroughly cleaned up.

Compliance with Local Regulations

Like oil tank removal, oil tank abandonment must meet the specific municipality requirements, ensuring it complies with the local laws. As many towns may not allow oil tank abandonment, checking with your town before making a final decision is vital.

The Oil Tank Abandonment Process

The process of oil tank abandonment typically involves the following steps.

Tank Assessment

The ground will be excavated. The oil tank’s top will be opened to check the contents within.

Tank Cleaning

The tank will be drained of any remaining oil or sludge, and the interior will be cleaned.

Tank Filling

The tank will be filled with a material, such as sand, gravel foam or concrete. This prevents the tank from collapsing or shifting.

Vent and Fill Pipe Removal

Any remaining vent or fill pipes will be removed and capped.

Site restoration

Once the oil tank services are completed, the excavation site will be backfilled, and the surrounding landscape is restored to its original condition.

Learn More About Your Options Regarding Oil Tank Removal vs. Oil Tank Abandonment

Do you have a buried oil tank? Are you still confused? Do not worry; our professional environmental team of dedicated experts in oil tank removal, soil and groundwater assessments, and remediation are here to help and guide you to doing what’s suitable for you and your property. Contact us to make your life easier regarding your oil tank.

Our full line of environmental services is offered throughout central and northern New Jersey. Please take a look at the NJ counties that we serve.

Morris County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Essex County, Passaic County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, Warren County, NJ.