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Underground Oil Tanks and Their Impact on Sale

An underground oil tank can have a significant impact on resale value to a builder or investor, as leaks come with significant cleanup cost and legal/environmental certifications. Builder and investors will always request or order an oil tank "Sweep" or inspection to ensure that there is no underground tank present, and if there is one, that it does not have any leaks.


The cost to remove an oil tank can vary depending on the size of the tank, its location, and the extent of any leaks or contamination. On average, it can cost between $1,500 and $4,000 to remove an underground oil tank. Often times a builder/investor buyer will be willing to remove the tank as park of the purchase process and transaction, so long as they have certified that there are no leaks or issues with the tank


To be sure there are no issues or leaks with the tank, it is important to have it inspected by a professional. They can use specialized equipment to test the tank for leaks and assess its condition. If there are any issues, they can recommend the appropriate steps to take to address them.


  1. Visual Inspection: A qualified professional visually inspects the area around the tank for signs of leaks or spills, such as stains or odors.

  2. Soil Testing: A sample of the soil is taken to test for oil contamination. If oil is found, further testing may be required.

  3. Tank Location: The technician will locate the tank and verify its size, type, and condition.

  4. Tank Depth: The depth of the tank will be measured to ensure that it is properly installed.

  5. Tank Condition: The condition of the tank will be evaluated, including the presence of any rust, cracks, or other damage.

  6. Tank Contents: If the tank is still in use, the technician will determine the type of oil being stored and the amount in the tank.

  7. Documentation: The technician will provide a report detailing the results of the inspection and any recommendations for further action.

The purpose of the inspection is to ensure that there are no leaks or spills that could contaminate the surrounding soil and groundwater. It is also important to verify that the tank is properly installed and in good condition to prevent any potential hazards.

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