Leaking Oil Tanks: Contamination, Clean-Up, and Remediation

Do you have an old, unused oil tank that you've been ignoring? Do you suspect your home has one somewhere on the property? Then this true story is for you!

Recently, we received a call to perform clean-up and remediation on an oil leak in a crawl space of a home. Upon arrival at the house, we saw the leak was extensive and needed quite a bit of work. An old oil tank sat in the crawl space of the home, and the family hadn't used it for many years. The tank had rusted, and the remaining oil leaked out. As you can see from the picture we took, the damage was substantial because of the oil leak.

Our team of professionals quickly got to work assessing what needed to be done. First, we emptied out the excess oil and sludge from the old oil tank with care. Then we actually needed to cut a hole into the foundation of the crawl space to provide air circulation and get our equipment in to remove the oil and tank safely.

It was clear we were dealing with a high level of contamination. When old tanks break down and oil leaks out, the oil wastes no time damaging the surrounding areas. The soil — and sometimes, even the walls and concrete — can be contaminated.

We cleaned up and performed remediation on the site, focusing on taking the heaviest concentration of contamination off-site. The oil, water, and oil-soaked soil were then taken to a provincially-regulated disposal facility for them to deal with.

The homeowners first thought their longtime insurance provider would cover the bill for the clean-up. However, they were shocked and scared to find out this wasn't the case. The homeowners were, in fact, left 100% responsible for the clean-up and liability.

So if you have or even suspect you have an old, unused tank, you can now see that it's never a good idea to ignore it. Even if your tank isn't very old, you need to be on top of its inspection. Tanks can look intact from the outside, but they can usually corrode from the inside out. It's imperative that you gain control of any leaks as soon as possible. You'll minimize damage to the area and prevent any further clean-up costs. Leaking oil can quickly permeate into perimeter drains. That can move the contamination off-site — causing more of a hazard and compounding the problem.

This is only one of the many clean-ups and remediation jobs Pacific Group Developments has performed. We have the experience, tools, and knowledge of regulations about removing oil tanks and remediating the area. If you have any questions or need service, please feel free to contact us!