I have a 1000 gallon metal in-ground heating oil tank and am considering
removing it and going with tanks in the basement because I don't want
the possibility of the tank leaking and it becoming a Encon nightmare of
a cost to me. Additionally, here in NY state it now appears that if you
sell your home you are still liable for any future leaks. So my
question is: after I have my fuel oil company pump the existing oil
into the new tanks, and then I hire a very competent local guy with
backhoe to dig it out how (where) do I dispose of it? I don't want to
call ENCON !! There would obviously be sludge and some oil remaining it.
There are no local outfits or companies within several hundred miles
that do anything like this and the oil supplier doesn't want anything to
do with it. Has anyone tackled a similar situation? Input appreciated.
My son-in-law used to remove oil tanks and the like. You have to find a
company that deals with Hazmat. They will dig up, clean out, remove and
dispose of the tank--it ain't cheap!!! It may be against the law to do
Here (not NY) you can pump the oil out and fill it with sand, cut off
and seal the filler and vent pipe, and call it a day. Whatever you do,
research what your state/municipality requires cause it can hang you up
when you go to sell. There are companies all over that deal with this,
new England/NY is much more dependent on heating oil than the rest of
the country so there ought to be companies around. Probably have to
pay a MOF (mob overhead fee), haha.
My son is an insurance adjuster and he has been involved in some
unbelievable claims re: inground and basement oil tank claims. One claim
was because an in ground tank leaked and the home owners insurance company
wouldn't cover the damage to the insureds property but they did pay for
all the damage and cost of removing contaminated soil etc. from the neibours
property under the liability section of the policy. Another case was a
leaking basement oil tank and the clean up cost because the environment
people where called in totalled over $875,000 so far and it could cost them
more in the long haul. These prices are not part of some urban legend
environmental clean up firms seem to be able to charge what they want to
clean up these messes.
A lot of Insurance companies in Canada many American owned won't insure even
new homes with oil tanks in the basement. Some will if the tank is
installed with some kind of concrete carch basin under it incase of a leak.
I removed a basement tank and put it out by the road , a neighbor came
by to buy it for a BBQ grill so I let him take it free. Some people use
them here as fire pits because open camp fires are illegal. I would not
want a tank in my basement as some smell can be evident. and they take
up alot of room.
John, why don't you pump it out and fill it up with expanding foam
insulation? Go to Home Depot and buy cans of "Great Stuff"...I bet if
you call The Dow Chemical Company, they can tell you the name of
someone who dispenses large quantities of their foam insulation who
could drive up with a truck, drop a hose into your tank and fill it
with foam insulation...
It better not have a leak(environmental issue). Even if it did not leak,
better have it done by pros.
If you contaminate soil, it beomes legal issue. Big brother will come
This is so at least where I live.
If it's pumped down to the sludge first, there will be no problem. That
leaves a gallon or two of junk in the bottom. Even if that leaks down in
to the soil, it will be undetectable.
Fill er up with sand after pumping it out. Who cares if it's illegal.
Nobody will ever know AND it will not cause any problems in the future.
Perhaps if the "right" way didn't cost 10x as much, people might be
inclined to do things that way.
Very nice attitude. Just like the guys/gals who don't pick after their
dogs. I see them every day.
on my daily walk with my dog. Disgusting! You're so called part of
problem not a solution.
Have a nice day.
Pump it and fill with sand. Our highways are littered with more fuel and
then rinsed into the enviroment on a hugely larger scale than your empty
tanks will ever come close to leaching out. P.S. Just do it and stop
I know nothing about NY, but here in Ontario, it has been mandated
that ALL underground oil storage tanks be removed within a few years,
leaking or not, used or not. I was selling a house with one and was
advised that it would be impossible to sell without removing it first.
It had not been used in more than 28 years and use had been
discontinued before we moved in because of leaking. We paid a
contractor $8650 CDN to remove it, dispose of it and remove and
dispose of contaminated soil. He said that was nothing at all
compared to some jobs he had done. It had to be inspected by the
Technical Safety & Standards Authority.
I recently paid my fuel oil supplier $3,000 to decommission an in
ground 550 gallon tank and replace it with a 375 gallon surface
tank. This is in northern New Jersey. The "decomnission"
process involved three workers from "Care Environmental" and a
digging machine for one day during which they exposed the top of
the tank, used a metal saw to cut off the top of the tank, wiped
out the oil and residue remaining, and waited for an inspection
by the township building inspector. After the inspector was
satisfied they filled the tank with sand and backfilled the hole.
I have placed the documentation that the in ground tank was
legally decommissioned in a safe deposit box at my bank so I can
find it when the house is sold.
Quite a few years back I had a similar situation. I called the local oil
delivery place to come pump the old stuff out and install a new tank in the
basement. They said they had nothing to do with removal and this was all
they could do for me.
I left it that way for an easy 6-7 years and then had a truckload of sand
delivered when we knew we were going to be selling. I dug up about a 1
foot area on top of the tank and then sawzalled an opening in the top of
the tank. 5 hours later and about a gazillion wheelbarrows later, she was
full of sand. Buried it up again, reseeded the lawn, and she never
The cost to me was 1/2 a day of hard work and a small truckload of sand
which was less than $50 at the time. So, lets say $100 for the heck of it
today (which would be very high). That still beats the pants off having it
done the EPA way....
I bet to do it the "right" way would be an easy $500+
For those in NY state with in ground oil tanks (whether in use or NOT in
use)here is some current info detailing what is required if you sell
your home: 1. you must disclose to seller existence of tank 2. you are
liable (whether you knew there was or wasn't one) after the sale for all
future cleanup and removal costs if tank leaks 3.if tank has been
removed or if the tank is decommissioned you must have ENCON approved
reports from a Environmental Co. certifying proper removal took place
or that the tank is 100% clean and non-threatening 4. if you fill it
with sand for example you would have to re-dig it up and have it tested
and certified. So it doesn't pay to fill it. There's more so if you
live in NY state some homework is necessary. John
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