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Oil Tanks in Montgomery County

Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Maryland. Or MOCO as some people call it. This is a huge county in Maryland. It is among the top wealthiest counties is the country and also has a population over one million people.

There are 2 incorporated cities; Rockville & Gaithersburg. But there are many other densely populated cities as well. MoCo dates all the way back to 1776 & has an area size of 507 square miles. And within those 507 square miles are thousands of heating oil tanks, many of which are buried but also there are plenty of aboveground oil tanks. Specifically we are talking about residential oil tanks and small commercial buried oil tanks(such as churches). We are not talking about gas stations and large government facilities.

Many area of Montgomery co. are not serviced by natural gas so that leaves older homes and older heating systems served by heating oil or electric heat. Slightly newer houses may have propane heat, and now homes also have the option of things like geothermal and solar. However heating oil is still a great source of nice warm heat compared to electric heat/heat pumps – which to some people can leave a house feeling drafty.  By the way, in case you didn’t know, home heating oil is the same as diesel fuel. Yep the same stuff that big trucks run on, that you can buy at the fueling station. The pumps with the yellow handles and large nozzles just has clear diesel fuel and has various highway taxes added to it. While the off road diesel fuel/home heating oil is dyed a red color and does not have highway taxes. All heating oil sold today is now known as #2 oil and is also ultra-low sulfur which means it has 15 parts per million of sulfur content.

I assume since you are reading this blog you have or are interested in residential UST’s and or AST’s. This would be underground storage tanks and aboveground storage tanks. If you are a homeowner (or a realtor here looking for information)and your property has a buried oil tank, it is 95% chance the buried oil tank is original to the home. Unless the home predates the 1950’s or 60’s and it was originally coal, and switched to oil sometime between 1950 – 1970.  Then your oil tank is not only very old but it is way past its useful lifespan of 20 years.

The Maryland Department of the Environment strongly recommends that homeowners remove or abandon in place any buried tank older than 20 years. So this would be any tank installed before the year 2000(roughly). If you do not know how old your tank is, and you do not have any paperwork showing when it was installed, then we can guarantee it is older than 20 years and you need to have the tank removed and replaced with an aboveground tank.

The most common size of aboveground tank is 275 gallons, and despite what some people think, the tank location outside vs. inside has no impact on lifespan of tank. This is because the tank corrodes from the inside out. So the cheapest installation location is outside. But if you have space restrictions smaller tanks are available. Or if you prefer to have additional storage capacity we can install more than 1 tank at your location or we can install one larger tank such as a 330 gallon, 400 gallon, 500 gallon or a 1000 gallon.

If you are selling the property or planning on selling the property and you have a buried oil tank that is no longer in use, you HAVE to remove the tank and it has to be done by a licensed tank remover (Greentrax, Inc.), period, end of story. It is state law and code. If the UST is still in use, as in hooked up to the heat system. It still needs to be removed or abandoned in place(if tank is clean and not leaking). 99% of the time it is the Sellers responsibility to remove the UST prior to settlement. This is because many buyers or their agents will usually require tank be dealt with prior to closing. Or we see many times that the buyers lender, mortgage company, and/or Home insurance company can & does prevent buyers from going to settlement if their company has rules against buried oil tanks. (yours may not but we have see many that do).

If you live in cities such as Potomac, Derwood, Montgomery Village or Clarksburg, among others it is very common to have a large UST; ie. A 1,000 gallon buried tank. But a 550 gallon buried tank is the most common size residential tank. With 300 gallon and 275 gallon also being popular in some communities. 

Regardless of the size of your tank, several factors influence how quickly a tank will leak. All tanks leak, its just a matter of when. If you have electric lines very close to the tank, the electrolysis underground will eat of the tank much faster. If there is a high water table or downspouts and sump pumps discharging all the time on top of the ground over tank. If the soil in your area is very acidic, or if you have had water buildup in your tank. All these factors can and do impact the life of the tank.

If the tank has holes in it and leaked there will be remediation work required, and this involves excavating the contaminated soil below and around the tank and hauling it away to a special disposal facility. There is extra costs for this work. And the state does have a partial reimbursement program to help eventually give you back some of the money for this work.

Greentrax has been working in Montgomery county performing heating oil tank removals and installations for decades. We have seen every situation and can help you know matter what your particular tank location is with whatever challenges and difficulties it presents, and one way or another we will get your new tank installed and hooked back up to the heat system so you will not be without heat or hot water for very long. Most all UST removals and new AST installs are always completed in a day or less, and Greentrax is the best, most efficient and most helpful residential tank removal company in Maryland. So call us today for your quick no-hassle estimate. 410-439-1085

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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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