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Oil Tanks in Cape St. Claire, MD

MDE Homeowner Reimbursement Fund

Cape St Claire, MD is a very small city with less than 10,000 residents. BUT, Cape St. Claire does have a lot of one thing… buried heating oil tanks. With an older neighborhood like this, buried oil tanks in Cape St. Claire, MD you must to accept and deal with appropriately.

Cape St. Claire is a suburb of Annapolis is the unofficial buried oil tank capital of Maryland (aside from being in the actual capital of Maryland). So it’s no surprise that plenty of homes in Cape St. Claire have a buried oil tank. With the average home value in the $400,000’s and average income for Cape St. Claire ~ $100K, the area is very typical of Anne Arundel County

buried oil tank insurance

About Cape St. Claire, MD

Before we called it Cape St. Claire, the area was just farmland. It stayed this way until the 1940s. In the late 18th century, just a few families operated the land. It wasn’t until a doctor on staff at Johns Hopkins University began buying up farmland that the area was developed. His intention was to build a community called Persimmon Point. His venture was less than successful and he only sold a few lots. Most likely the cause for his failure was the Great Depression.

He put his development on hold only to die before he could jump start it again. His children, though, took over his dream and incorporated a property management company called the River Bay Company. They plotted the community of Cape St. Claire in 1949. Since then, the land has seen much development and an increase in population, most of which happening in the late 1980s.

Oil Tanks in Cape St. Claire

Now that you have a brief history of Cape St. Claire, what about today, and how is this relevant to oil tanks? GreenTRAX still sees plenty of underground fuel tanks in the Cape.

The Problem with Tanks in Cape St. Claire

Most, if not all, of these tanks being less than 550 gallons in size. The 275- and 300-gallon sizes are very common in this community. There are still plenty of potable water wells in this area as well. Unfortunately, these two things do not mix well. A very small old tank and a well, on relatively small plots of land. Not to say this is a huge problem, but it can be a problem, nonetheless. Let’s look more into that now.

If your below ground tank is 275 gallons in size, it should have never have been buried in the first place. Not that anyone did anything wrong, but these small tanks were designed to be aboveground, not underground.

Tank Age Matters

If the underground tank is over 20 years old, it has a tendency to leak worse and with more frequency than larger tanks designed for below ground use. So, if you have a small property, a small tank that leaked or has been leaking for many years, and an old drinking water well on the property, there is a chance of the leaked oil to find its way to the groundwater. Generally, this isn’t a huge problem, but definitely a concern. 

Underground Oil Tank Removal

If your property still has a buried tank on it, it should be removed as soon as possible. Do not delay, as the tank is already as old as the house. If the life of a tank is 20 years and your house is 40 or 50 years old, well… you can do the math. Especially if you are going to want to sell the house soon or are in the process of selling the house, call Greentrax, we will handle the whole thing for you. Any buyer or buyer’s agent will say the buried tank needs removed before the house is sold. Plus, if your agent (seller’s agent) is knowledgeable in this area, they will tell you that this needs done right away. 

Leaking Oil Tanks in Cape St. Claire, MD

The problem with buried oil tanks in Cape St. Claire, MD is they leak. Everyone thinks their tank is not leaking, but with temperature fluctuations, thermostat setting changes, and efficiency of the oil burner, you cannot tell you are losing oil via a leak by looking at the gauge.

Most leaks, and thus contaminated soil, are caused by seepage, not oil pouring out. Small seepage over a long period of time causes a lot of dirt to become contaminated. Then, if the leak is bad enough, we have seen oil:

  • get into people’s basements
  • seep through the block foundation walls
  • cause a smell in the house
  • get into the French drain tile around the house which, in turn, gets into the sump pump pit

If you have oil in the sump pump basin, the pump will push this oil back outside creating another area of contaminated soil. Finally, if the leak is really bad, oil can show up in the potable water well. The action required by the state for this is usually just additional testing, as most levels are below an actionable limit. This means they are very low and do not pose a risk to health. But if the levels are elevated, they could require an additional filter to be placed on the well conditioning system.

Only in very rare cases do people have to have a new well installed. But you do not want to be drinking petroleum because you waited too long to remove the buried oil tank. Or worse, having your tank contaminate your neighbors’ well or basement. 

GreenTRAX Will Take Care of it For You!

Greentrax has seen all kinds of things over our many years of experience. We can handle any tank situation you may have. If you are thinking of selling the house call us and we will help you through this process and make it very simple for you. You can speak with our knowledgeable, dedicated, and helpful staff to guide you on the proper procedure for the tank removal & replacement with an aboveground tank. 

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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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