Whether you are a home owner, buyer, or builder, a leaking tank can be a major hazard to your health and the environment, so it’s important to be able to recognize the signs.
Leaking oil tanks can create more damage than you may initially think. Not only does a leaking tank contaminate surrounding water supply sources, but leaking oil tanks have increasingly become more and more of an environmental hazard.
The unfortunate aspect is that issues such as these were not expected at the time of the equipment installation years ago. Due to the fact that these tanks are underground, it can take years for homeowners to realize there’s a problem. Leaks should ideally be addressed early to minimize damage to people, property and the surrounding environment. But how can you tell if you have a leak?
Here are a few signs to look for that might indicate an underground oil tank leak:
• Fuel consumption spikes or increased home heating costs, even though the weather isn’t especially cold.
• There is dead vegetation on your property near or above the oil tank.
• You can smell heating oil odors in the home or coming out of the ground nearby.
• If you have well water and it begins to develop a strange taste, odor, or color.
• The soil in the area seems stained or darker than other nearby soil.
• There is an oil sheen on groundwater or in water samples from your basement sump (if you have one).
There is no way to actually be sure that your tank is in ok condition without digging it up. However, knowing the age of your underground tank can help you to make an educated decision. If your tank is over 10-15 years old, it is more than likely to have developed at least small pinholes, which are the beginning of larger oil tank leaks.
If you are a real estate agent and evaluating a new home you’re listing, it’s important to know that the majority of older homes that have underground steel tanks are prone to developing a leak. Try your best to provide your clients with this information if this is the case. This will help them to decide to decide whether they should seek further information, or carry out thorough testing.
If you notice any of the signs listed above, it’s time to call an underground tank removal company right away. For more details about how we handle oil tank leaks at JS Tank Removal; or for help with your oil tank and any questions about the process, contact us today.