underground oil tanks
Yellow crane digging the ground process for an oil tank removal

For many decades, oil tanks have been very useful for residential and commercial areas needing to stock up on oil for their heating systems. They are located either above-ground–usually situated in basements or outdoors–or buried underground. These underground oil tanks have drawn flak and concern due to potential hazards that are not easily detected, including soil and ground contamination, and fire hazards, among others. 

Out of the millions of recorded underground oil tanks being used in the United States as alternative heating sources, over 100,000 can be found in New Jersey. Reportedly, more than half of these units are either unused, abandoned, or simply undisclosed to new property owners. In light of this, experts in New Jersey have put an emphasis on the pressing need for massive oil tank removal. 

Although they have been helpful and widely used in the past, experts and environmentalists believe that the cons of oil tanks outweigh their pros. If you’re still not convinced, check out the following list of reasons to give you a better understanding of why you should have your oil tank removed:

RISK TO HEALTH AND SAFETY. Despite being rare, the likelihood of an oil tank explosion or related illness in residential areas still exists. Due to the fuel oil being stored on a long-term basis, there is the possibility of exposure to hazardous and flammable vapors which can cause a variety of health problems. Additionally, if your oil tank has been installed underground, residential owners who source their water using wells may suffer from contamination. 

Whether above-ground or underground, the risk of leakage is also a concern and can lead to dangerous and potentially fatal outcomes such as a severe fire or suffocation from fumes. However, even if you exercise extreme caution in preventing a fire, owning an oil tank can put you in imminent danger if your neighboring areas happen to catch fire and spread. 

OIL TANKS ARE NOT THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE STORAGE SOLUTION. Oil tanks may initially cost less when compared to installing a gas furnace, but long-term ownership of an oil tank requires a continued investment on fuel, which can become very expensive. With regard to the potential dangers listed above, the potential savings should not sway you in the wrong direction and you are encouraged to see help from a reliable oil tank removal company as soon as possible. 

THE REAL DEAL ABOUT ENERGY EFFICIENCY. The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings for gas furnaces have been between 89-98% in the past few years. Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, the ratings for oil tanks are lower, resting somewhere between 80-90%

OIL TANKS REQUIRE EXTENSIVE MAINTENANCE. Leakages, especially with underground oil tanks, can be incredibly dangerous. Without regular maintenance, a leak can remain undetected until it is too late. Responsibly owning an oil tank involves complying with its extensive maintenance requirements, including timely replacement and soil remediation. Not to mention the additional investment in leak gauges and oil level sensors to prevent leakage and other dangers. With all of that said, having your oil tank removed is starting to sound like a very smart decision.

RIST TO THE ENVIRONMENT. Soil remediation and other precautionary measures may be able to help prevent your household from imminent danger, but such measures come at the cost of potential environmental hazards like soil and water contamination. 

COMPLIANCE DUTIES. There are a number of reasons why a residential property in New Jersey should opt for an oil tank removal NJ service, and complying with the state’s regulations remains at the top of the list. As per section of the BC Fire Code, property owners are mandated to remove underground oil tanks that have been unused and inactive for at least two years. Because of this, authorities have advised residential property owners who suspect an undisclosed underground oil tank to enlist qualified professionals for an oil tank sweep service. Residents who are uncooperative in doing such may be subject to annual fees. 

OIL TANKS CANNOT BE TREATED INDEPENDENTLY. According to manufacturers, an oil tank’s life expectancy ranges from 20 to 25 years. However, in some cases, an oil tank removal might be required much sooner due to leakage, soil contamination, or other related issues. Due to the hazardous nature of the repair, maintenance, and removal, such activities are best left to be handled only by skilled and knowledgeable licensed professionals. Additionally, according to state law, jobs like soil remediation are not authorized to be carried out by homeowners.

SAFER OIL TANKS ARE AN EYESORE. Despite being considered to be safer than underground, it would be best to avoid above-ground oil tanks if you are a homeowner who intends to uphold the aesthetics of your area. While acting as an eyesore, they can also consume a significant amount of space in your backyard or basement. Plus, installing outdoors makes the unit prone to rusting which may require additional maintenance. While underground oil tanks won’t be a bother aesthetically, the dangers they bring are something you still cannot afford to downplay. You will need an oil tank removal service even sooner in this case.

YOUR OIL TANK AFFECTS YOUR PROPERTY’S MARKETABILITY. Finally, if you are planning to sell your property, it would be wise to have your oil tank removed before listing in order to enhance your property’s marketability. More often than not, realtors will avoid selling a property with an oil tank and recommend that homeowners run an oil tank sweep before putting their properties up for sale on the market. If you refuse to do so, most realtors will avoid the sale entirely, knowing the potential hazards that come with oil tanks. 

For your oil tank removal and other oil tank-related services in and around New Jersey, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us at Oil Tank Pros. Our seasoned and highly skilled professionals are happy to walk you through the entire process while ensuring that the job is done efficiently and safely. There is a reason we are the preferred Oil Tank Removal Company in New Jersey.