# How much oil in a buried tank

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• posted on December 8, 2009, 2:51 pm

starrin wrote:

550 is a pretty big tank. You live in a cold area?
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• posted on December 8, 2009, 5:26 pm
LouB wrote:

Thats a pretty common tank size for heating oil and typically the smallest that would be buried.
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• posted on December 8, 2009, 5:39 pm
TimR wrote:

It will work if you repeat the measurement.
If 20 gallons lowers the level 3/4" on the first try and 20 gallons lowers the level 1" on the second try, it's a simple problem in differential calculus to divine the capacity of the tank (assuming it's cylindrical and horizontally oriented. It the tank is spherical, a different equation is used. If the tank is a coiled tube of unknown diameter ending in a bulb of unknown shape, the equation is slightly more complex.
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• posted on December 8, 2009, 8:48 pm

There are formulas in Machinery's Handbook for this kind of calculation, I believe.
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• posted on December 8, 2009, 8:44 pm

You need to know the height, width and length of the tank in order to calculate the amount of oil in the tank accurately.
Basically, the tank's shape is a half cylinder stacked on top of a box, stacked on top of a half cylinder.
If the oil is deeper than the tank is wide, you can easily calculate the contents using simple geometric forumulas. Figure out the volume of the half cylinder, then figure out the volume of the box.
Let's say 24" of oil in a tank 16" wide and 48" long. The half cylinder bottom is completely full of oil, and there is 8" of oil in the box section. Volume of the half cylinder (pi * radius^2 * length / 2) is 4825 cubic inches, at 231 cubic inches per gallon, is about 21 gallons. Volume of the oil in the box section (length * width * height) is 6144 cubic inches, or approximately 26-1/2 gallons.

The value of the oil wouldn't come anywhere near the cost of being properly equipped and certified to pump and transport the oil. That's why it costs you an arm and a leg to have an environmental cleanup company come in and pump out the old oil. They're not making much on the deal; it all goes toward that fancy equipment and costly disposal procedures mandated by the various government agencies.
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• posted on December 30, 2009, 4:55 pm
wrote:

Put an add on the free part of Craig's list as y'all recommended. Turns out there were all kinds of folks willing to take it. Gent who did had a pickup full of M.T. 55-gallon drums, a handpump and necessary plumbing. He pumped out approx 165 gallons, leaving about 1 1/2" sludge in the bottom. Said he was going to burn it himself.
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• posted on December 30, 2009, 8:35 pm

He needs to fill tank with sand before he start cutting check with your fire department or both of you may wind up in jail, Good luck
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• posted on December 31, 2009, 12:14 am
Yo, Tony! "burn it himself" means he's going to take the barrels of oil back to his own place, and put the oil in his fuel oil tank.
The foam company still gets to fill the under ground tank. I think filling the tank with sand or some kind of rock makes sense, to me. But, no one asked.
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Christopher A. Young
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• posted on December 31, 2009, 12:12 am
You are a good neighbor. I'm sure you saved him plenty of money.
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Christopher A. Young