Tank abandonment options
Is abandoning your oil tank a smart choice?
What is the difference between Oil Tank Removal & Oil Tank Abandonment? Oil tank abandonment or an oil tank removal both represent proper ways to decommission fuel storage tanks.
Which option should you choose? That depends on the circumstances. An oil tank removal involves taking the existing fuel storage tank out of the ground. The contractor will back fill the area where oil tank was previously located.
Oil tank abandonment will minimize the amount of restoration that is required on the property. A typical oil tank abandonment involves these steps:
- Oil is removed from the tank being abandoned.
- Tank top is uncovered with a backhoe. Hand-digging may be necessary in hard to reach places.
- Top layer of metal on the abandoned oil tank is cut away.
- Opening at the top should be large enough to allow for a man to get inside & squeegee the abandoned tank.
- Sludge is removed from the abandoned tank bottom.
- Oil tank liquids are removed from the tank and transferred either to another fuel storage tank or a certified liquid waste removal facility.
- Remaining structure is filled with sand or pea gravel.
- Vent pipes & fill pipes are disconnected and removed from the abandoned oil tank.
- Now that the oil tank is abandoned, the hole is back-filled with soil.
- Water & sludge removed from the abandoned oil tank will be transported to a licensed facility for disposal.
Is it cheaper to abandon an oil tank or remove one?
In most cases, it is more cost effective to remove the tank.
If you abandon an oil tank properly, soil testing analyzed by a certified soil testing laboratory should be a part of the oil tank abandonment process even though the tank did not appear to be leaking.
Why? Pinhole leaks in the oil tank may not be visible during the abandonment procedure. This soil testing process adds additional expense. If the tank is removed, and there's no visible contamination, soil testing will not be necessary.
Oil Tank Removal is the better choice
Even though an oil tank abandonment involves a less invasive process, an oil tank removal is usually a better option.
Aside from the lower cost, removing an oil tank will get rid of the entire structure from the ground which means there will be no question as to whether the oil tank was abandoned properly. This is especially important if you plan to sell your property in the future. An abandoned oil tank on the property and what is beneath the oil tank in the ground, is usually a concern for most buyers. If you have a choice, go for the tank removal.
Tank Abandonment & NJ Oil Tank Program: Homeowner choosing tank abandonment will not be eligible for oil tank removal grants except in extenuating circumstances, such as if the tank is located under the home's foundation. Homeowners may want to take this into account before choosing the tank abandonment process.