Oil Tank removal?

Has anyone dealt with oil tank removal or filling? It apparently wasn't an issue 23 yrs. ago when we bought the house, and I'm not selling now, but I want to get it taken care of. Obviously, removal has to be better than filling... Either way, the garden, and maybe the hardscape will have to be dug up. I might even have to dismantle the fence! Anyway, a company called ERC is the only one I've looked into, so far,  https://oiltankremovalnj.us , they pride themselves on taking care of everything for you in a short period of time, putting things back the way they found them as best they can, and a 'flat-rate' of something like $1,700. Anyone know anything about any of this?


Do you have tank insurance?  

Seems like all experiences differ based on that question.  We had our removed, and remediated summer 2018. Mostly painless because of the insurance.  They did dig a hole 17 feet deep, but somehow managed not to rip up the driveway - only one garden bed was disturbed and not very much at that.  We were in the same boat as you - not planning to move, but want to be able to if we opt to. 22 years in this house. 


In order to sell, you will have to remove it.  We had the sellers "decommission" the oil tank when we bought our house many years ago. That no longer works if you want to sell.

Most insurance companies have dropped coverage of oil tanks. Our did many years ago.  Something in the range of $1700 sounds right for removal. The big money happens if they find any contamination in the soil.
Make sure you get a letter of "no further action" from the state when the job is done.


finnegan said:

Do you have tank insurance?  

Seems like all experiences differ based on that question.  We had our removed, and remediated summer 2018. Mostly painless because of the insurance.  They did dig a hole 17 feet deep, but somehow managed not to rip up the driveway - only one garden bed was disturbed and not very much at that.  We were in the same boat as you - not planning to move, but want to be able to if we opt to. 22 years in this house. 

 No, never knew I should. Should I get it before I have the tank removed? The company that I mentioned doesn't mention it, and says they will make it 'painless'!? And, BTW, is remediation separate from removal? Or are you referring to the disposal of all things toxic? Good point, I'm not sure if they mention that ...


yahooyahoo said:

In order to sell, you will have to remove it.  We had the sellers "decommission" the oil tank when we bought our house many years ago. That no longer works if you want to sell.

Most insurance companies have dropped coverage of oil tanks. Our did many years ago.  Something in the range of $1700 sounds right for removal. The big money happens if they find any contamination in the soil.
Make sure you get a letter of "no further action" from the state when the job is done.

 So, does that mean I need to get the State involved before the job is started? How do I get such a letter?


If your tank is still in use you may be able to get insurance, but if it is abandoned you won't get any.  $1700 is a great price, but if there is a hole in the tank it can get a lot more expensive,or only a little more expensive. Your homeowners insurance may cover remediation on your neighbors property, but it won't cover anything on your own property.   After the work the company should get you the NFA letter.  It is a nerve wracking experience, but far better to do now than to delay.  If you dont have a leak now, you may have one in 5 years.  If you do have a leak now, it will be worse in 5 years.  And, as noted above, no buyer will accept a sand filled tank these days.  They have to be pulled.  Most pulls are clean and quick.  Don't let the occasional horror story scare you away from a job that needs to be done.  I'm sure someone will post a horror story soon.  I've had two pulled without issue.


If the tank is still in use, you may be able to get tank insurance through your oil provider company.  


Remediation is separate from removal. It takes place if the tank leaked. If there is no leak, the $1,700.00 holds. If you are still using the tank, there is likely no leak. Tanks are usually pressure tested by your oil company. That is how most leaks are discovered.


Certainly, check with your insurance agent as to what coverage you need, if any.


I don't know if you would get a "No Further Action" letter if there was no need for remediation in the first place. Other posters might have that information. If you do get a N.F.A. letter, encase it in laminate, put it in a safety box and bury it in your backyard. Then draw a map so you and your heirs know where you buried it. IT IS GOLD!


Is the tank in service?  i.e. do you have oil heat, with fuel from that tank??

If so, you should/should have been offered tank insurance--not sure if you can get it now, but worth a check.  Don't say anything about having the tank removed.

If you have gas heat, then you cannot get tank insurance, and your homewowner's most likely does not cover.

That price is reasonable for initial tank removal, BUT, don't contract with anyone without contacting references.  Plenty of decent folks out there, but also plenty of folks that will milk a remediation job--and you have no good way of knowing for sure.  And there is no way to estimate remediation costs before removal.

Depending on size of tank, location, soil factors etc, remediation can go from $10k to $30k++

Once the tank is pulled, they inspect it for holes and the town takes a look and clears it, or fails it.

If it fails, then soil is tested and if it comes back bad (and/or you can see/smell the oil...), remediation begins.  Cost depends on how long (days/labor/equipment) and how much soil is removed, disposed of, replaced.

Removal Co. has inspection by state licensed inspector, and re-testing. When all clean, the state will send you that letter.


I have one name of reliable co.  PM me for more information or ask around and check with prior customers.  If costs are consistently high, or at the high end of the range, be wary.


reservationgirl said:

Has anyone dealt with oil tank removal or filling? 

 My first response was has anyone not?

This is at least the third thread on this topic on MOL. All the advice given above is very good. Shop around different companies. I am trying to remember  who I used. I'll try to find it and let you know.

OK. I used Mike Waters but since I can't find a website I am not sure he is still in business. He may have sold out to a bigger company.


STANV said:

reservationgirl said:

Has anyone dealt with oil tank removal or filling? 

 My first response was has anyone not?


 LOL.  


perhaps you can have a "pressure test" done on the tank.  when we sold our home 20 years ago with an an active tank, this was the test done to determine if the tank was leaking or not.  it passed and house sold with the tank ( whew!)

maybe this test will give you a good idea if the tank seems to be free of leaks.  use a different company for this test.

oots


oots said:

perhaps you can have a "pressure test" done on the tank.  when we sold our home 20 years ago with an an active tank, this was the test done to determine if the tank was leaking or not.  it passed and house sold with the tank ( whew!)

maybe this test will give you a good idea if the tank seems to be free of leaks.  use a different company for this test.

oots

 The problem with this idea is that the tank still has to go.  This isn't 20 years ago.  A house will not sell with an oil tank buried in the yard.  So if you do the test and it passes, do you wait 5 years so it can start to leak? Just pull the tank.


FilmCarp said:

 The problem with this idea is that the tank still has to go.  This isn't 20 years ago.  A house will not sell with an oil tank buried in the yard.  So if you do the test and it passes, do you wait 5 years so it can start to leak? Just pull the tank.

 no. the idea is you have some knowledge whether or not to expect a leak and remediation.  there are some unscrupulous companies out there.  


I'm not sure a pressure test is not going to help if the tank is out of service.


have the tank removed, and have them look for any other tanks on the property.  We had the oil heat replaced with a gas boiler when we first moved into our home almost 20 years ago.  At the time we had the old tank decommissioned.  A couple of years ago we decided to have it removed and got the very bad news that there was a second tank buried alongside the first that was decommissioned.  The second tank was left with several inches of sludge inside, which of course leaked into the soil.  Remediation was a very big, and very expensive job -- 16 tons of soil had to be removed from our property.  There's no way around doing it before you can sell your home, and better to take care of it now than when you are in the process of selling your home.  And hopefully you won't find anything more than the old tank and no leakage.


Had a 1000 gal tank removed in 2014. If clean, price would have been $2450. Nothing is clean, though, so it cost me an additional $13,000 to remediate 30 tons of soil. All in, with additional fees and "stuff", it was about a $16K job. Unfortunately, there is no choice if you want to sell at any time. We used Mike Waters, 973-747-6285. He was more expensive than some others, but seemed to have the best reputation and is very well known as an honest contractor. There are a bunch of shysters in the business, so I would be very leery of a lowball-seeming price. $1700 seems a bit low to me, even for a 550 gal tank. Be careful.


I had a tank removed this summer. I needed some good news and got it. Tank was still very solid when removed and no leaks. I used Paul Ianiro Contractors and paid $2,100. They were great but they do put precedence on homes ready to sell. I am getting ready. 


FilmCarp said:

If your tank is still in use you may be able to get insurance, but if it is abandoned you won't get any.  $1700 is a great price, but if there is a hole in the tank it can get a lot more expensive,or only a little more expensive. Your homeowners insurance may cover remediation on your neighbors property, but it won't cover anything on your own property.   After the work the company should get you the NFA letter.  It is a nerve wracking experience, but far better to do now than to delay.  If you dont have a leak now, you may have one in 5 years.  If you do have a leak now, it will be worse in 5 years.  And, as noted above, no buyer will accept a sand filled tank these days.  They have to be pulled.  Most pulls are clean and quick.  Don't let the occasional horror story scare you away from a job that needs to be done.  I'm sure someone will post a horror story soon.  I've had two pulled without issue.

 Thank you, this is helpful. 


ml1 said:

have the tank removed, and have them look for any other tanks on the property.  We had the oil heat replaced with a gas boiler when we first moved into our home almost 20 years ago.  At the time we had the old tank decommissioned.  A couple of years ago we decided to have it removed and got the very bad news that there was a second tank buried alongside the first that was decommissioned.  The second tank was left with several inches of sludge inside, which of course leaked into the soil.  Remediation was a very big, and very expensive job -- 16 tons of soil had to be removed from our property.  There's no way around doing it before you can sell your home, and better to take care of it now than when you are in the process of selling your home.  And hopefully you won't find anything more than the old tank and no leakage.

 Wow, so sorry, thanks for the info, hope it won't be the case for me!


reservationgirl said:

Has anyone dealt with oil tank removal or filling? It apparently wasn't an issue 23 yrs. ago when we bought the house, and I'm not selling now, but I want to get it taken care of. Obviously, removal has to be better than filling... Either way, the garden, and maybe the hardscape will have to be dug up. I might even have to dismantle the fence! Anyway, a company called ERC is the only one I've looked into, so far,  https://oiltankremovalnj.us , they pride themselves on taking care of everything for you in a short period of time, putting things back the way they found them as best they can, and a 'flat-rate' of something like $1,700. Anyone know anything about any of this?

 Thank you all for replying with such informative anecdotes and insights! No one actually mentioned a reliable company, so I guess I'll investigate ERC. I appreciate the feedback! 


Tank needs removal.  Have a representative from your insurance company on site the day of removal.  The tank pull company will check for seepage, as will your insurance’s soil engineer.  If no remediation, you’re good. If minor remediation is necessary that will cost more.  Having your insurance rep there will be a good second opinion regarding how much soil really needs removal.  I don’t have a high level of trust regarding tank pullers estimate.  After the pull and remediation is done, you will receive a No Further Action letter from the state.  This can take several months even after remediation because the state is backed up and they need to do 2 tests 60-90 days apart.


we had no idea we had a tank, because there was no paperwork.  Puller estimated it wasn’t used after 1950.  It was under a patio, fortunately it had contaminated our neighbors yard so insurance covered the 259,000 remediation project.  But it took almost 2 years from start to finish, so you might as well start the process now.


reservationgirl said:

 Wow, so sorry, thanks for the info, hope it won't be the case for me!

 my fingers are crossed for you grin


I think there has been some misinformation here.  Please see the Powerpoint below that describes the process.  In particular, page 6, which states that "No Further Action" letters are only issued in the case where contamination has been found and remediation performed.  If there was no contamination found, you should ask your contractor for a certificate stating that the tank was removed with no contamination found.  
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=2ahUKEwieysWQooTlAhXnY98KHVnNAEsQFjABegQIAhAH&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nj.gov%2Fdep%2Fsrp%2Fsrra%2Fstakeholder%2Fcvp_srag%2F2018%2Fsrag_cvp_uhot_update_0912.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3QUdf9_xkuBIHaA6hPVyst


Ours was an anomaly because when we bought the house, there was no record of a tank because it had been abandoned over 50 years ago.  No sign of a fill into the house because an addition was put on where it would have filled.  Also, we bought pre 2000 so there wasn’t so much concern even if you had a decommissioned one on your property.  Now, you really can’t sell your house with an unused tank not certified by DEC.  Most are fine.


Rob_Sandow said:

I think there has been some misinformation here.  Please see the Powerpoint below that describes the process.  In particular, page 6, which states that "No Further Action" letters are only issued in the case where contamination has been found and remediation performed.  If there was no contamination found, you should ask your contractor for a certificate stating that the tank was removed with no contamination found.  
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=2ahUKEwieysWQooTlAhXnY98KHVnNAEsQFjABegQIAhAH&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nj.gov%2Fdep%2Fsrp%2Fsrra%2Fstakeholder%2Fcvp_srag%2F2018%2Fsrag_cvp_uhot_update_0912.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3QUdf9_xkuBIHaA6hPVyst

 But before you determine there is no contamination the tank must be pulled and soil needs to be tested.  That’s why it’s good to have your insurance rep there to take samples as well, do tank puller can’t say “we found some contamination and here’s a bill for us to remove it”


We pulled ours when we redid the driveway.  Driveway area where the tank was located had to be dug up anyway so not much extra work was needed.  No contamination was found.  Town code enforcement agent determined no remediation was required.  Estimate was that the tank had been unused for over 55 years.   That said, you don' know what you are facing until you remove the tank.  As others have stated, it is better to know now than later.


joan_crystal said:

We pulled ours when we redid the driveway.  Driveway area where the tank was located had to be dug up anyway so not much extra work was needed.  No contamination was found.  Town code enforcement agent determined no remediation was required.  Estimate was that the tank had been unused for over 55 years.   That said, you don' know what you are facing until you remove the tank.  As others have stated, it is better to know now than later.

 

Rob_Sandow said:

I think there has been some misinformation here.  Please see the Powerpoint below that describes the process.  In particular, page 6, which states that "No Further Action" letters are only issued in the case where contamination has been found and remediation performed.  If there was no contamination found, you should ask your contractor for a certificate stating that the tank was removed with no contamination found.  
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=2ahUKEwieysWQooTlAhXnY98KHVnNAEsQFjABegQIAhAH&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nj.gov%2Fdep%2Fsrp%2Fsrra%2Fstakeholder%2Fcvp_srag%2F2018%2Fsrag_cvp_uhot_update_0912.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3QUdf9_xkuBIHaA6hPVyst

 So, I went back through my house papers, and I found a UCC Certificate of Approval from when we bought the house, signed by Anthony Grenci, the construction official in the town at that time - 1995. It says "Fill with sand a 550 gallon underground storage tank as it was close to the gas and water lines". A-OK?


campbell29 said:

Tank needs removal.  Have a representative from your insurance company on site the day of removal.  The tank pull company will check for seepage, as will your insurance’s soil engineer.  If no remediation, you’re good. If minor remediation is necessary that will cost more.  Having your insurance rep there will be a good second opinion regarding how much soil really needs removal.  I don’t have a high level of trust regarding tank pullers estimate.  After the pull and remediation is done, you will receive a No Further Action letter from the state.  This can take several months even after remediation because the state is backed up and they need to do 2 tests 60-90 days apart.


we had no idea we had a tank, because there was no paperwork.  Puller estimated it wasn’t used after 1950.  It was under a patio, fortunately it had contaminated our neighbors yard so insurance covered the 259,000 remediation project.  But it took almost 2 years from start to finish, so you might as well start the process now.

  So, I went back through my house papers, and I found a UCC Certificate of Approval from when we bought the house, signed by Anthony Grenci, the construction official in the town at that time - 1995. It says "Fill with sand a 550 gallon underground storage tank as it was close to the gas and water lines". A-OK?


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

Remediation is separate from removal. It takes place if the tank leaked. If there is no leak, the $1,700.00 holds. If you are still using the tank, there is likely no leak. Tanks are usually pressure tested by your oil company. That is how most leaks are discovered.

Certainly, check with your insurance agent as to what coverage you need, if any.

I don't know if you would get a "No Further Action" letter if there was no need for remediation in the first place. Other posters might have that information. If you do get a N.F.A. letter, encase it in laminate, put it in a safety box and bury it in your backyard. Then draw a map so you and your heirs know where you buried it. IT IS GOLD!

  So, I went back through my house papers, and I found a UCC Certificate of Approval from when we bought the house, signed by Anthony Grenci, the construction official in the town at that time - 1995. It says "Fill with sand a 550 gallon underground storage tank as it was close to the gas and water lines". A-OK?



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