Do you live in Millersville, MD? Do you have a 21108 zip code? Or are you buying or selling a home in Millersville, MD?
Well, we here at GreenTRAX, inc. want you to be aware of the fact that many homes in Millersville still have buried or aboveground heating oil tanks. Because many Millersville neighborhoods do not have natural gas service, oil heat is still widely used.
If you have a heating oil tank, it’s important to remember that these tanks need to be replaced after 20 years.
Common Reasons For Oil Tank Removal In Maryland
GreenTRAX frequently gets involved in tank removal & replacement projects for several reasons:
- The owner is selling the house and has to remove the buried tank before closing
- The buyer of the property requires the tank be removed & replaced before closing
- The property owner is proactive and decides to replace the tank since it is old
- The owner’s home insurance company will not renew the policy until the buried tank is removed
- The owner is doing a refi & the lender requires the buried tank to be removed before the deal is done
- There is a smell of oil in the basement & it’s discovered that the oil tank is leaking
- The aboveground tank is having problems so we have to replace it
While buried tanks and aboveground oil tanks do last 20 years, buried oil tanks are original to homes that are more than 20 years old. Since many houses in this area were built between the 1950’s – 1970’s your tank is way past its useful life.
Unfortunately, since these buried tanks are underground, many people forget about them. This is a bad thing since a forgotten tank will eventually leak, and a leaking tank will cost more money to deal with properly and legally.
Also, with many properties in this area still using a Potable Well for their drinking water, you run the risk of a leaking tank contaminating the groundwater for your well or your neighbor’s well.
It’s possible the house you live in never had an Underground Storage Tank (UST) but it has an Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) instead. The same rule applies – the tank lasts 20 years. The last thing you want is an older tank in your basement leaking and creating an oil smell in your house.
Worse yet? If the tank is outside for it to start leaking and no one notices it until a bunch of grass starts to die.
GreenTRAX makes it a very simple process to replace the existing tank and install a new tank in just a few hours onsite. We also provide several options to choose from for a new heating oil tank. The sizes range from a 220-gallon tank to a 400-gallon tank, with 275 & 330 gallon sizes being the most common. The basic oil tank comes with a 10-year warranty, but we also offer tanks with 20, 25 & 30-year warranties as well.
What To Do If Your Existing Oil Tank Is Leaking
Don’t fret – we deal with this every day at GreenTRAX and will take care of everything for you.
To answer a few common questions we get: No, we do NOT need to destroy the house to get to your tank, and No, no we do NOT need to dig up the entire yard.
It will cost some additional money to remediate the contaminated soil. Despite what a friend may have told you or read on the internet, here in Maryland a standard basic leaking tank at a residential property never costs $50,000 – $100,000 or more.
Those may be horror stories from other states. One good thing in Maryland is that we have a homeowner reimbursement fund that is run by the MDE. To make this process easy for you, GreenTRAX will fill out the application for you to help with the process to submit for reimbursement.
Currently it does take awhile to get money back, but the MDE will reimburse a portion of the costs to help offset some of the out-of-pocket expenses.
Why Tank Removal Is Better Than Tank Abandonment
So why are we harping on tank removal and not tank abandonment, or filling it in and leaving it in place?
Well, leaving a tank in place and filling it is an option if it’s done the legal, proper way.
However it does cost a little more to do this AND if we find the tank is leaking then it has to be removed anyway so we are right back to where we started.
Since you’re curious, we’re going to help you better understand what a tank abandonment in place even is. Which of the following examples seems right to you?
- “Does it mean I just stop using my heating oil tank and forget about it?”
Ummm NO! Definitely not.
- “Does it mean I stop using my heating oil tank and cut off the pipe sticking out of the ground and pretend it was never there?”
Absolutely not. This is illegal and if you sell the house knowing there is a tank there you can still be liable for it since you intentionally tried to hide it
- “Does it mean I go to Home Depot and buy a few bags of sand or pea gravel and a funnel and dump that stuff in the fill pipe and I’m done?”
NOPE, still not legal! Keep trying.
- “Wait, wait, wait I know – a tank abandonment means I call my plumber or HVAC contractor and let them deal with it?”
NO, NO, NO! Ok enough of this. I’ll just give you the answer.
In Maryland – you have to be a licensed Maryland Department of the Environment contractor (like GreenTrax) to perform tank removal and tank abandonments.
This is what it takes to do a proper and legal tank abandonment in such a way that will satisfy not only MDE but a buyer when you eventually go to sell the house.
To start, we have to dig to the top of the tank, cut a hole in it, pump and clean tank out, get inside and clean the tank, cut a hole in the bottom and check the soil, and then if the dirt below the tank is clean and the tank was not leaking, then the tank can be filled 100% full with a sand, pea gravel, etc.
This is the key part to remember: you are required to have lab soil testing performed to show the soil was clean. You will also need what we call a tank closure report (for a tank removal OR a tank abandonment in place).
This packet will have pictures of the work that was done, lab test results, a written description of the work that was done, and a liquid disposal form to show that all the remaining oil and sludge in the tank was properly disposed of.
So, yeah, it’s kind of a big thing. That’s why you should always call GreenTRAX to have this work performed properly the first time.
Trust GreenTRAX To Help With Your Heating Oil Tank Removal
We have been in the oil tank business for 30 years. As experts in this area, we have underground tank removal down to a science.
We have removed thousands and thousands of tanks across Maryland, including tanks from tough spots other companies said they could not remove. So if you want the best, call the best. You can reach us at (410) 439-1085.