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A Few Surprising Stats About Underground Oil Tanks in Monkton, MD

Underground Oil Tanks in Monkton

Monkton, Maryland. A fine place to live to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities of Baltimore and Annapolis and those crowded suburban areas. The zip code for Monkton is 21111. It’s a sizable area, with approximately 35 square miles that are mostly rural, though with a scattering of some more closely packed housing communities around.

General Info About Underground Storage Tanks in Monkton

One thing you will definitely find in this town is old underground storage tanks, AKA USTs. You may call them buried tanks, underground fuel tanks, buried oil tanks, oil tanks, or home fuel tanks. Whatever you call them, they are basically a steel vessel made to hold heating oil, diesel fuel, or gasoline. The typical size of buried oil tanks in Monkton is either a 550 or a 1,000-gallon tank. The typical lifespan of a buried oil tank is 20 years, though most people leave their tank in the ground much longer. 

What’s important to know is that they do not last forever. In many cases, the property owner will never know if and when the tank ultimately leaks. No one can even tell by oil usage alone if the tank is leaking. Then without realizing it, they have problems with contaminated soils and additional costs. 

What To Know About Removing USTs in Baltimore County

So, let’s assume you have a home in Monkton. It was built in the 1970’s and you have a UST. What do you need to know? First, the tank is going to be original to the house so it’s already going to be 50+ years old. That makes the likelihood of a leak much higher. 

Next, the tank must be removed. Baltimore County requires a permit for this work and they do not allow tank abandonment in place if the tank can be removed. That means that even if your underground storage tank is obstructed by things like bushes, flowers, landscaping, concrete patios., etc, it does not not qualify for a tank abandonment. All abandonments have to be approved by the inspector ahead of time and they are more expensive than a tank removal. 

Unless removing the tank will impact the structure of the house, we have to perform a tank removal which, honestly, is better for you in the end anyway. And before you ask, no, the tank being close to the house or right next to the foundation does not qualify for an abandonment. Most tanks are close to the house and we remove them every day. That does not impact the foundation, since just digging next to the house has no impact on the foundation. 

Besides a permit, the Baltimore County inspector is also required to be onsite for the work. If you think you are going to try to do the work yourself or have your friend with a backhoe or your plumber do the work, think again. That’s not the way it works and you will end up causing yourself more trouble than it’s worth. 

It is also of note that if the buried tank is not being used for heat for the home anymore, it HAS to be removed within 180 days. That is a Baltimore County requirement as well as a state requirement. If you are selling the house, thinking of selling the house, or you are the real estate agent dealing with a transaction that has a buried oil tank, call GreenTRAX now so that we can explain the process.

Regardless, the tank has to be removed. Do it sooner rather than later, because the closer to closing the time it gets, the more expensive the process could end up being. This is especially true if the tank is leaking and you need the paperwork done before closing. 

The Steps To Tank Removal In Monkton

The basics of the tank removal process are simple. In short, we’ve got to do the following: 

  • Uncover the tank
  • Cut it open and lean the tank
  • Remove it
  • Test the soil
  • Take soil samples
  • Backfill the hole
  • Perform lab tests on the soil samples and,
  • Complete the paperwork (e.g. a tank closure packet) and provide it to the owner

GreenTRAX has removed thousands and thousands of tanks in Maryland over a number of decades, and we have the experience, knowledge, equipment and know-how to be the only company you need to call to have your oil tank removed. 

What Happens If Your UST Is Already Leaking

If your tank is found to be leaking after it is removed, we are required to notify the Maryland Department of the Environment of the leak. They do not have to come out to your house as Baltimore County is already onsite. 

It will be required that we excavate out all the contaminated soil, or as much as we can safely get out. The goal here is to obtain a soil sample from the bottom of the excavation showing we got out all the contaminated soil, and that the bottom of the excavation is clean. 

We do NOT have to dig up your entire yard. We only have to dig up the area below where the tank was, and slightly deeper in the ground. Oil does not spread out laterally that much in normal soil conditions. Normally oil just seeps straight down into the ground. So you know, an average amount of soil to remove from a standard size oil tank is about one full tri-axle dump truck load. Some smaller leaks can be less, and worse leaks will obviously be more. 

How GreenTRAX Makes The Tank Removal And Replacement Process Easy

After the buried tank is removed, we frequently install new aboveground tanks for homeowners. We can get all of this removal and replacement work done the same day for you so that you’re not without heat or hot water for any extended period of time. We will make the process simple and handle everything for you. We get the permit, notify Miss Utility, schedule the inspector, complete the closure report, and email it to you.

GreenTRAX is here to help and answer all of your questions. In most cases, we’re able to get you a proposal the same day as you call. For more information, you can reach us at (410) 439-1085 or send a message here on our website.

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More To Explore

The Maryland Department of the Environment is cancelling the reimbursement fund for homeowners with leaking heating oil tanks!

This cancellation takes effect June 30th, 2024. You need to have your buried oil tank removed NOW, so if the tank is leaking you can get reimbursed for remediation costs before the program goes away. Click here for more information on the reimbursement fund as it operates now.

We urge everyone to contact their representatives in Annapolis and the Governors office and tell them DO NOT cancel the homeowner reimbursement fund for leaking residential oil tanks! They can still renew this program before this year’s legislative session ends.

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