Ed's Chesprocott Region Blog: Safe Under Ground Oil Storage Removal

Safe Under Ground Oil Storage Removal

Safe Under Ground Oil Storage Removal


In the '70's and '80's it was not uncommon in New England, for people putting up larger homes to have bulk oil storage tanks installed outside, underground. This was thought to be more cost effective and to lessen the possibility of running out of fuel.

In spite of the preparations to the outsides of the tanks, over time, moisture in the ground as well as condensation inside the tanks cause them to erode and let the oil leak out and contaminate the ground. As this s environmentally dangerous the tanks should be removed before they deteriorate. It must also be addressed before the home owner considers selling their new home as lenders will not assume the risk to the mortgage with an in-ground tank, as well as insurance companies that issue home owners insurance. Although it is not a legal mandate in Connecticut, it is the wise choice.


Many oil companies have contact names for safe removal of underground storage tanks as a service to their clients.  Here in Prospect CT, a call to the health district will obtain a list of people that have also done qualified removal.

There is also word of mouth from Oil Tank Removal in Prospect CTfriends that have had the work done or know of someone that has had the work done as well.

It is important to talk the process out thoroughly with the contractors for a sense of comfort, as well as getting detailed estimates as to scope of work through completion as well as repair of the ground once the machinery has been removed.


Permits need to be obtained and inspectors notified as to when the work will be ready for inspection prior to removal of the tank. In most towns the building inspector needs to be called to view the installation of the new tanks; the health district is brought in to do ground sampling to verify no leakage of the old tank, as well as the fire marshal.

The first part of the process is to get the new tanks installed in the basement or garage of the home. Also, a call to the power company to locate any underground utilities and clearly mark their locations so as to prevent heavy machinery from traveling over them as well as not getting them with the digging.  At the same time any other below grade services such as water or septic need to be located and marked.


Safe Under Ground Oil Storage Remova

With the excavation started and the tank exposed, the ground can be viewed and any questionable areas tested.  If there is a question of seepage of oil into the ground the wok will be watched closely and the tank carefully removed in a manner to not cause further. With ground contamination, the contaminated soil must be carefully removed and enough taken to be assured that all has been removed.  The contaminated soil is hauled to a location where it will be remediated and then properly disposed. The hole that as created by the tank removal will be back filled with good soil, graded and ground cover replaced.

Safe Under Ground Oil Storage Remova

Once all the soil samples that were taken have been processed, a laboratory report and certification will be issued to the homeowner, who will need them for verification of certified removal when the home is sold, as well as proof to their insurance company.

Doing some research in advance and making sure that the people that do the work are licensed, insured and experienced will allow all to be done correctly and smoothly.




Safe Under Ground Oil Storage Removal


Search for all Connecticut homes 






Do you know somebody who is behind on their mortgage and doesn't know what to do? I may be able to help them, especially if they are facing foreclosure!

Get Help with Short Sale in Connecticut






Whether looking to buy or sell, we service the Greater Waterbury towns of Beacon Falls, Bethany, Cheshire, Naugatuck, Middlebury, Southington, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown and Wolcott 

Ed Silva  Mapleridge Realty, LLC,   203-206-0754

Comment balloon 12 commentsEd Silva • June 16 2016 04:29AM


Excellent...applause...yes yes...we had that here too...and it is part of the disclosure to this day on our condition report...thankfully...none visible or invisible in recent history !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 4 years ago

Good morning, Ed Silva I had an inground oil tank (2000 gal) back in the mid 1970's at a new home I built... I was very fortunate that I was able to remove it and there was no contamination.... dodged that bullet!!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) over 4 years ago

I've not had one myself, but this is very good information for both buyers and sellers who may have this issue. Thanks for sharing Ed Silva 

Posted by Jennifer Mackay, Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582 (Counts Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Ed Silva This is great information for people who have oil tanks.   It's important they understand how dangerous they can be. 

Back in the '80s while I was working as a court reporter, we took depositions of plantiffs involved in this type of case.  There was a gas station where the tanks had been left in the ground.  People within the plume got sick.  

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) over 4 years ago


Good information for homeowners, and buyers, to know about. Not an issue in our area, but I remember these issues when I was with RE/MAX back in Cambridge and needing to get verification of oil tank removal, dealing with leaking tanks in basements, etc.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Ed good explanation of the process of removing an in ground oil tank.  It can be costly, but not doing it can be even more costly.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago

We still see these tanks around here too Ed. What were they thinking back then?

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 4 years ago

This is critical information. I learned all about the ramifications of underground storage tanks in a Geology Class many years ago. I am surprised how many people don't know or understand the impact it has on the environment and the groundwater. 

I hope this one gets featured. It's newsworthy!!!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 4 years ago

Yes here in Los Angeles we have the problem with the commercial land, if there was a Gas Station the Ground Contamination could cause Millions of Dollars worth of liability. Truly valuable post hope many learn and heed, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 4 years ago

Good morning Ed. Have been through this process a number of times. I have purchased many properties over the years to flip and removed the oil tanks, only had a ground contamination issue once.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 4 years ago

Excellent post for anyone seeking to remove a leaking under ground oil storage tank!   

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 4 years ago

Hello Ed

This is a very interesting post and great photos to boot!

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz over 4 years ago