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Underground Oil Tank Locating FAQs

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Underground Oil Storage Tanks are commonplace in properties across Canada and, while they previously used to heat properties, they are now a risk and should be removed.

GeoScan utilize Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and other locating methods to non-destructively locate underground tanks, allowing for their safe detection and removal.

​We get a lot of questions about oil tanks and locating, so we spoke to our technicians to provide answers to these frequently asked questions:

What are Underground Oil Storage Tanks (UST)?

Underground Oil Storage Tanks were commonly used to heat houses prior to the 1970’s and can either be above ground or buried. As more effective heating methods are introduced, tanks are becoming obsolete and must meet specific requirements or be removed.

If your house was built prior to the 1970s and you did not receive any information from the previous owners regarding the presence of an Underground Oil Storage Tank, then you should have your property scanned.

Where would I expect to find an oil tank on my property?

Oil tanks are approximately 6 feet in length and 3 feet wide. They are usually found within 2-3 meters from the house and 3 feet below the surface of the ground. Keep in mind that if your house underwent any renovations (additions), then an oil tank may exist beneath your addition not your house. ​

How do I know if an oil tank exists on my property?

There are many visual signs that may indicate the presence of an underground oil storage tank on your property. The presence of vent pipes and fill pipes are big giveaways that there may be an accompanying oil tank nearby. Cut off supply lines in the basement are also signs of an oil tank. ​

Why would a property owner want their oil tank removed?

  • Due diligence
  • To increase property value
  • To prevent additional costs that may arise in the future after the sale of the house
  • To satisfy the requirements of your local government, bank, or insurance company

What happens if a tank is found?

If a tank is found on your property it can be removed by a tank removal company. They will obtain a permit if one is required in your municipality. They will then arrange for a pump truck to remove the contents of the tank if it is not empty. After removing the tank, the soil will be examined for contamination and an Environmental Consultant may be required. If the soil is not contaminated, the tank removal company will backfill the void and may even seed the soil for you. You will then receive a report from the tank removal company stating that an Underground Oil Storage Tank was removed from your property. A copy of the report will also be sent to your municipality. ​

What happens if a tank is not found?

If a tank is not found then you will be given a report stating that your property was scanned using Ground Penetrating Radar and that NO Underground Oil Storage Tanks were found on the property surveyed.

For more information on underground oil tank locating, get in touch with one of our technicians.