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If you have questions regarding your underground oil tank, or the oil tank removal process we have created a FAQ list for easy reference for your oil tank solution needs.

Q:        Why do underground heating oil tanks corrode?

A:        Corrosion is caused by the inherent tendency of iron based metals that most all heating oil underground storage tanks are comprised of, to revert to a stable form. This stable form is what you know as rust. When and how fast steel turns to rust is dependent on a wide site specific variety of variables such as soil moisture, pH acidity, backfill material, physical location of the tank, the thickness of the tank, amount of water in the tank, age of the tank.

Q:        Why are underground heating oil tanks a concern? 

A:        Oil tanks have a finite life expectancy and when corrosion holes breach the tank shell or the welded seams of the tank fail, petroleum or other contaminants, will leach into the environment.

Q:        Why test an underground heating oil tank?

A:        Testing heating oil Underground Storage Tanks, (USTs) allows home buyers to complete their Due Diligence Investigation, concerning the integrity of the underground petroleum storage tanks and limit potential liability related to investigating and/or remediating UST leaks.

Q:        What is the process if the tank is leaking?

A:        Initially, the severity of the problem should be determined as the extent of the leak will determine the extent of remediation required.  A delineation (diagnosis) is typically performed after an oil tank leak is found.  When an underground heating oil tank is removed and found to be leaking, the next question that needs to be answered is how large or small of an area will require remediation.

Q:        What are the cleanup steps associated with a heating oil tank leak?

A:        If there is an underground storage tank that must be removed, it will be removed according to municipal codes and the American Petroleum Institute’s recommended practices. Your municipality will require a construction permit to remove the tank. The tank will be thoroughly cleaned of residual fuel/sludge prior to removal. Once the tank has been removed, and if evidence of a leak is documented, the NJDEP will be notified of the discharge and the consultant should take soil samples that will be collected by a licensed NJDEP subsurface evaluator in accordance with applicable NJDEP  regulations to quantify the severity of the discharge.  A NJDEP certified laboratory will analyze the samples, and the results will be compared to the NJDEP’s soil cleanup criteria to determine if remediation is required.  In an effort to reduce costs, the soil samples will dictate if any cleanup is required rather than a visual observation. 

Q:        What are the costs to remediate a tank leak?

A:        Generally, a small tank leak requiring only soil testing and regulatory reporting etc., can run up to the $3,000 range.  Costs can incrementally increase by thousands of dollars or more based on the extent of impacted soil and/or groundwater requiring remediation. 

Q:        What does it cost to remove an oil tank?

A:        The cost to remove an oil tank is directly related to the tank’s size and location/accessibility at the property.  Generally, smaller tanks (290 gallon) are less expensive to remove than larger tanks (1,000 gallon).  Location is also a factor; a tank under a lawn is less costly to remove than one that may be underneath a deck or patio, which would require removal and replacement of the patio or deck.

Contact Firstech Environmental for Tank Removal Services

Firstech Environmental is the only resource you need for complete, start-to-finish oil tank removal. We frequently provide one-day service for projects throughout New Jersey. If you have questions regarding oil tank removal, click here to request a quote or contact us to learn more.