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by Joy Moran

Help! Our inspector said there’s an old oil tank buried on the property and it needs to be dealt with before closing, what do I do? Is this going to cost a lot?

Don’t panic. Older homes may have an old buried fuel tank from an oil furnace that was replaced or converted to natural gas. Its not the end of the world, but it does need to be identified and dealt with. Here is a sketch of the typical installation.

Dan Venable of Advance Environmental Inc. has dealt with many an underground oil tank, and suggests the best option is to remove the tank rather than decommissioning an underground tank. This is because leaving the tank in the ground (abandonment in place) may leave the homeowner open to additional problems in the future.

Once the tank is removed, there is easy access for thorough soil testing. After the soil is tested and no residue is detected, the hole is back-filled and does not need to be revisited again. End of problem.

If the tank is decommissioned, it is more difficult to do proper soil testing, and there may be requirements for additional testing in the future.

Advance Environmental is on the approved contractor list for Thurston County. The cost for tank removal currently runs around $1600 including soil testing. If there is poor access for equipment or the tank must be hand dug, the cost will be higher. The cost of decommissioning an underground tank is about the same as to remove it.

Advance Environmental Inc. is this Realtor’s top choice for tank removal, mold testing & abatement, as well as asbestos issues, bio-hazards, and residential demolition. You can contact them at 360-357-5666.

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