If you’re a Calvert County homeowner wondering what to do about their underground oil tank – or if they have an underground oil tank at all – you’re in the right place.
Dealing with underground oil tanks is not always a clear-cut process, and it’s important to understand the situation you’re in for you to be able to handle it. As Burch Oil, we’ve been a part of the Southern Maryland community, including Calvert County, for over nine decades, spanning five generations of family-owned excellence.
For Calvert County homeowners, particularly those with underground oil tanks, we understand the unique concerns that come with such a responsibility.
If you’re new to homeownership or unfamiliar with the intricacies of underground oil tanks, read on. Today we’re sharing five crucial aspects every Calvert County resident should be aware of when it comes to underground oil tanks.
All About Underground Oil Tanks
Heating oil tanks have been a staple in Calvert County homes for decades as a go-to choice for powering efficient heating solutions. Built between 1900 and 1985, many houses in the area have these tanks installed.
In that period, the decision to go underground was often driven by space considerations, protecting the tank from weather elements and maintaining the aesthetic appeal of properties.
To determine if your home has an underground oil tank, look for a fill pipe and vent pipe. Typically, these tanks have an average lifespan of 15-20 years, making it vital to stay vigilant about potential issues.
Concerns may arise if:
- Your House was Built Between 1900 and 1985 – Many homes in Calvert County installed oil tanks during this period.
- You Notice Signs of Oil Leaks – Signs include oil stains, a distinct odor, sudden changes in oil consumption, rust, or visible corrosion.
- You’re Buying a New Home – Ensure a thorough inspection for the presence and condition of an underground oil tank.
If you fall into one of those categories, then stick with us as we talk about five important characteristics of underground oil tanks.
- The Dangers of Underground Oil Tanks
Not to be alarmist, but we want to start off with a sense of urgency for those who may have noticed some signs of oil leaks. Underground oil tanks can pose several risks, including:
- Vapors – Accumulation of vapors in enclosed spaces can pose health hazards.
- Contamination – Leaks from tanks can lead to soil and water contamination.
- Leaks – Structural damage can cause leaks, leading to oil spillage.
- Environmental Impacts – Long-term environmental consequences can result from oil spills and contamination.
- Underground Oil Tank Maintenance
Regular maintenance is key to keeping your underground oil tank in good shape. Ensure the tank is inspected annually for signs of corrosion or damage.
Keep the area around the tank clear and avoid planting shrubs or trees too close, as roots can damage the tank.
Three tips for best practices:
- Regular Inspections – Schedule annual inspections to identify and address potential issues promptly.
- Clear Surroundings – Maintain a clear area around the tank to facilitate inspections and prevent damage.
- Monitor Usage – Keep track of your oil consumption; sudden changes could indicate a problem.
- Signs of Damaged Oil Tanks
Recognizing signs of damage is crucial. Look out for oil stains near the tank, an unusual odor, or sudden changes in oil consumption.
Rust, bulging, or visible corrosion on the tank are also red flags.
Five signs of a damaged underground oil tank:
- Oil Stains – Presence of oil stains around the tank area.
- Unusual Odor – A distinct and unpleasant smell near the tank.
- Sudden Consumption Changes – Unexpected spikes or drops in oil usage.
- Rust or Corrosion – Visible signs of rust or corrosion on the tank.
- Bulging – An abnormal bulging or distortion of the tank’s structure.
- Solutions for Cleaning Up Underground Oil Tank
If your underground oil tank is damaged, it’s important to take action to mitigate environmental impact. These are two
This includes an assessment of the extent of soil contamination, extracting polluted soil and replacing it with clean fill. It’s important to find a company that prioritizes environmental responsibility and adheres to strict regulations for the disposal of contaminated soil.
In the event of a leak, groundwater treatment involves a thorough assessment, utilizing advanced technologies such as chemical treatments and filtration systems to purify contaminated groundwater.
Continuous monitoring ensures the sustained safety of the treated groundwater beneath your property.
- Underground Oil Tank Removal
If your tank is old or you’ve decided to switch to an alternative heating method, removing the underground oil tank is a prudent choice.
The process involves proper decommissioning, removal, and disposal.
- Draining the Tank – Safely remove any remaining oil.
- Excavation – Carefully dig out and expose the tank.
- Soil Testing – Conduct tests to ensure no lingering contamination.
- Disposal – Dispose of the tank following environmental regulations.
For Help With Your Underground Heating Oil Tank, Call Burch Oil
If you have concerns about your underground oil tank or require assistance with HVAC services, trust the experts at Burch Oil.
Get in touch with our team today for reliable, prompt, and expert service tailored to meet the unique needs of Calvert County homeowners.