Underground Oil Tanks

(April 09, 2012 )

We got a few questions about underground oil tanks this month, so thought we'd share some info.

Natural gas and electricity is the most common heating source for most homes today.  However, not too long ago, heating systems that used oil tanks were predominately used in homes.  These oil tanks were usually installed in basements or buried underground.  Most are now abandoned and replaced by more modern heating systems.

The main concern here is, when buying or selling an older home, to be sure that you check for and/or remove any underground oil tanks.  There could be potential soil / groundwater contamination, that could negatively impact the property value.

All oil tanks will eventually erode over time, and if they are not empty, the contents could spill into soil, and possibly the neighboring lots.  If this occurs, the cost of an environmental cleanup could be very expensive. 

  • Buyers should have property inspected for underground storage tank, and include cost of tank removal and remediation.
  • Sellers (if unsure) should hire a professional to scan for underground storage tanks. 

It is important to note for Sellers, that even after selling your home, you can still be responsible for cleaning up a contaminated site. 

Not all situations with oil tanks should be treated the same.  Talk to your realtor.  For more information please contact us, or speak to professional / specialist dealing with residential underground storage tanks.