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Straight Advice on Underground Oil Tanks

Buying a Home With an Oil Tank

If you’re a buying a home in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, there is a good chance it uses oil to heat the home. There are also homes that converted from oil heat to natural gas that may have an out of use oil tank on the property. You’ve probably heard your share of nightmare stories about leaking oil tanks and the thousands of dollars it costs to remediate the soil.

What should you do? 

First check with the municipality where the property is located to see if they require the removal of underground oil tanks as part of the closing process. If it’s not a requirement, you have a few options. The least expensive option is an oil tank sweep combined with soil testing of the surrounding tank. An oil tank sweep is used to pinpoint the location of an underground tank and it can also be used when it’s unknown if there is an oil tank on the property.  Once the tank location is found, soil borings taken from around the tank can help detect the presence of a leak. However, soil testing is not a fail safe method of detecting if a leak has occurred because it can only tell you the condition of tank in the present moment and not whether it might leak in the future. Quick Environmental has performed oil tank sweeps on all property types, from row homes to estates as well as large farms and industrial sites. 

Your second option is to remove the oil tank from the ground and replace it with an above ground oil tank. If you decide to remove the underground oil tank, you should arrange for its removal as soon as you go under contract. A permit will need to be issued by the municipality where the home is located which can take a few days or a few weeks depending on how quickly the zoning office processes permits. In cases where the oil tank passes municipal inspection, we can have a removal certificate issued to you within days.

However, if the town inspector finds evidence of holes in the oil tank, the tank will fail inspection and the NJDEP will need to be notified that an oil release has occurred. Remediation of the contaminated soil will be required and a Remedial Action Report will need to be compiled and submitted to the NJDEP. You will not be able to close on the property until the NJDEP reviews the report and issues a No Further Action letter; a process that can take three to four weeks or longer depending on the severity of the remediation. If you are under a tight closing deadline, we will work with you to have your Remedial Action Report delivered to the NJDEP as soon as possible. For more information on site remediation visit our Site Remediation page for helpful advice. 

Quick Environmental maintains close relationships with realtors, real estate attorneys, insurance companies, local municipalities as well as the NJDEP ensuring a smooth closing process for both buyer and seller. We will work with you and your realtor to manage the oil tank removal project from start to finish so you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Learn about our Oil Tank Removal Process. 

“Thanks so much for the excellent service! I appreciate your looking into the property. Unfortunately, my client’s offer was not accepted. However, we will definitely utilize your services as we move forward with other properties. Also, I will not hesitate to refer you. It’s obvious that you love what you do!” Mary

Selling a Home With an Oil Tank

Selling a home that has an underground oil tank can often be a concern to buyers. Maybe they heard stories or know someone who had a tank that leaked and the high cost to have the site cleaned up. With today’s stricter environmental regulations, many municipalities require the removal of an underground oil tank as part of the closing process. If you’re getting ready to put your house up for sale, here are some steps you can take to remove any concerns buyers might have and protect you as well.

Purchase oil tank insurance. 

  • The cost of tank insurance is reasonable compared to the cost of site remediation.
  • If an oil tank leak is discovered at the time of removal, the policy will cover the cost of contaminated soil remediation.
  • The policy can be transferred to the new homeowner at closing and it can put buyers at ease, knowing they are protected if the oil tank leaks in the future.
  • Quick Environmental works with several insurance companies and is a ProGuard certified contractor. 

Contact us for help with choosing an oil tank insurance company for your oil tank.

Have a soil test done of the soil surrounding the oil tank.

  • Samples are taken from several soil borings and are sent to a state certified lab for complete and unbiased testing.
  • A report explaining the lab results will be provided to you within several days of testing. If time is a factor, we can have the report back to you within two days.

Remove the underground oil tank and replaced with an above ground oil tank. To learn more, visit our Oil Tank Removal page.