FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Having a decommissioned oil tank on your property can be a liability, and the problem of contamination will likely get worse over time as water will carry the contamination further and further away from the source site.
Home insurance companies are now requiring additional riders on insurance policies to cover liability related to any damages stemming from an underground storage tank.
Again, it is difficult to give an estimate because there are so many variables (example: varying municipal permit costs, location of tank, accessibility for machine or hand dig, etc).
Please call our office and we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or we would send a company representative to your property to answer your questions and provide you with an estimate.
We are fully covered by WCB and we carry One Million General Liability Insurance.
Typically, if the tank is relatively easily accessible, we should be able to have it removed and the site back filled within 2-3 days. For contamination it’s harder to say how long it will take as it will depend on accessibility, the volume of contaminated soil…
The City of Vancouver will require an Environmental Consultant to be engaged for all contaminated sites. Some other municipalities also require this, but not all.
Once it is determined that the site is contaminated, Vancouver Tank Specialist will either hand dig, or will use our excavator to remove the contaminated soil. We will arrange for a bin to be delivered to the site and will ensure that all contaminated soil is disposed of in an environmentally sensitive manner.
Once the contaminated soil has been removed and the Environmental Consultant (if required) has cleared the site for back fill, we will do our best to leave the site in a condition as close to the original condition as possible.
- If a permit is required by the municipality in which the tank is located we will obtain it. The cost of the permit varies from city to city.
- The tank will be exposed. This will involve either a hand dig, or if the site is accessible for our excavator, we will bring our machine in to expose the tank.
- Once the tank is exposed, a vacuum truck will arrive at the site to pump out any remaining fuel oil in the tank (if there is any). The fuel oil is then disposed of at a licensed recycling facility.
- The tank is then removed from the site, and is taken for recycling. The condition of the tank is examined upon removal from the site. If holes are present in the tank, that may be an indication that there may be contamination at the site (this is not always the case). In the event that there may be contamination, soil samples will be taken to a laboratory and submitted for testing. The average turnaround time for soil sample testing is five days, however, for an increased fee the turnaround time can be reduced to 24-48 hours.
- If the site comes back with contamination levels within legally acceptable limits, Vancouver Tank Specialist will back fill the void, and leave the site in top condition.
- A final report will be issued to our client and the City of Vancouver confirming the removal of the tank. This report certifies that a tank was found and removed from the site, and that the site was not found to have any contamination present. Vancouver Tank Specialist will also keep a copy of the report in our offices for future reference.
You may be able to find out from a previous owner if a tank is present.
Alternatively you could do a visual inspection of your property for evidence of a tank, for example there may be a filler pipe/vent pipe present. If you are unsure of whether or not you have a tank present on your property call Vancouver Tank Specialist and we can use our equipment to detect whether or not there is a tank present.
Another option you have is to phone your local municipality to see if there is any record of a tank being installed or removed on your property.
In some cases (but not all) municipalities kept detailed records of the implementation or removal of underground oil storage tanks.
This is not a foolproof method, but may provide you with some useful information as the municipal records may not be 100% reliable, but instead may be used as a tool in conjunction with other search methods. Homeowners should also be aware that there are instances in which filler and vent pipes have been removed, and yet the tank remains buried.