Home Sellers Oil Tank Insurance Is Your Oil Tank Leaking?

Home Sellers Oil Tank Insurance   Is Your Oil Tank Leaking?

 Is Your Oil Tank Leaking?

What's underneath your flower bed an oil  tank

What's underneath your flower bed a tank

Yesterday I had the opportunity I did my 375th inspection and  interviewed an environmental company while they were testing the soil of a tank on one of my listings.

A   steel pike was used to find edge and depth of tank.Two soil samples were  taken within 6 inches of the center of each end of the tank, at a depth range of 0″-24″ below the bottom of the tank.  This was done with  Hand Auger and a Direct Push Core Sampler.

I asked the inspector about the durability of tanks and what parts of the city had the most failures.


It is totally  dependent upon the type of tank , its placement , location and  the porosity of the soils. The West hills are mostly clay and hold water. Other locations like  Lake Oswego  and West Linn are l and rocky and porous.

This 1955 tank was installed  between  a  faucet  and gutter drain creating  additional water exposure.  The inspector guessed  this tank was  6 feet long and 500 gallon tank. Most tanks like this from between 1920 and 1950 are 10 gage metal and hold up better than the newer tanks that are harder steel and lighter gage.

Does Your Oil Tank look Like This

I had previously believed  any soil readings over 50 parts per million diesel hydrocarbons was reportable and needed  additional  decontamination.   Determining remediation appropriate proceedures  is quite complex and it is not only based on levels of hydrocarbons, but the kind of chemicals found.  Benzine and or tph total petroleum hydrocarbons  trigger  a higher concern than normal diesel oil findings.   A reportable release for DEQ is  over  50 parts per million.

 Time to find out your options moving your tank above ground? Call me for a referral to a reliable


I had always thought finding water in the tank was a bad omen.   The inspector demonstrated how they check for remaining oil and water in the tank. The tank is tilted slight at the oil deliver pipe end.  Making it easier to determine fluid levels.   He coated the end of a tape measure with a detector paste to read the  amount of water. This tank had only about 1/2 an inch of oil and 1/4 of water.

Where Is Your Oil Tank Located?

Where Is Your Oil Tank Located?


There is a theory  different types of lines used in the tanks create  a electrical conduit to draw water into the tank . Steel is preferable to copper.  Quite often conditions do allow for a tank to be  decommissioned in place.  All fluids are removed and interior is scrubbed clean. The tank is filled with inert material and covered .  A DEQ certificate is obtained  for you by your environmental company.

Don’t know if you have a tank in the ground, call me for a referral for a complimentary tank finding search.  From a local specialist;

The Generic Remedy cleanup option is a simplified Risk Based Decision process . The unique features of the Generic Remedy are:
1. No groundwater is encountered2. Soil sampling demonstrates that no more than 65 cubic yards of contaminated soil remains on the site.3. All contaminated soil is located at least 3’ below ground surface.

4. The most contaminated soil remaining on site contains less than 10,000 ppm TPH and less than 0.0083 ppm benzene

5. No PAH analysis is required

6. If the most contaminated soil samples shows petroleum concentrations below 2500ppm no BTEX analysis is required.


There are numerous factors determining whether removal of a tank is necessary.  Your environmental company will assess those factors and appraise you of the options.


We discussed  TANK INSURANCE .  Evidently standard insurance primarily covers exposure that affects a neighbors property. Not the homeowners  decommissioning  process.  Many of my clients also have paid a premium for peace of mind protection to their Oil delivery companies for years. However,  those long term payments offer little or no protection for future tank soil contamination issues.

Paint Your New Oil Tank to Match the Color of Your House

Paint Your New Oil Tank to Match the Color of Your House

 Time to take care of your existing tank? Call me for a referral to a reliable Environmental Contractor.