Tank Removal FAQs

What causes storage tanks to leak?
  • Rust: Underground storage tanks (UST) fail due to rust perforation caused by water entering the tank. Water settles at the bottom of the tank with the sediment, bacteria and sulfur from the oil and creates a corrosive acid. The acid breaks down the inside of the tank and will eventually eat through the steel wall of an oil tank.
  • Improper Installation: An improperly installed tank will likely cause problems in the future. These are a few mistakes which are made:
    • An indoor rated tank being installed outdoors – Indoor tanks lack the thickness of the steel and anti-corrosion coating necessary for an UST.
    • Damaged tank – A tank may have encountered structural damage before or during installation.
    • Improper Piping – The wrong piping material or a poor connection. Soil Conditions: A tank installed in soil conditions which are acidic or contain a significant amount of groundwater increases the chance of external corrosion.
What does UST and AST stand for?

UST stands for Underground Storage Tank. AST stands for an Aboveground Storage Tank.

How long will a storage tank last?

An UST has a typical life expectancy of approximately 15-20 years if the tank was installed before the 1980s. The federal government and EPA have increase regulation which has increased the storage tank life since the 1980s.

An AST will typically have a longer life than an UST as long as water is kept out of the storage tank. An AST will have condensation from the oil inside the tank that will cause the storage tank to rust. Visual inspection of the storage tank on a regular basis is recommended.

What is involved with an oil tank removal?
  1. Finding a licensed and qualified tank removal company. If the job is done by a company who is not licensed and familiar with removing tanks, the chance of costly errors and illegal activity is extremely high (if not certain).
  2. Removal of an UST/AST/Abandonment:
    1. CTR will come to the site and inspect the location of the oil tank, free of charge. (To determine the best way to remove or abandon the tank)
    2. All necessary permits and notifications will be made prior to tank removal or abandonment.
    3. The oil in the tank will be pumped out, cleaned, and properly disposed of according to the DEP/DEC guidelines.
    4. A soil sample will be taken from the grave of the underground storage tank and submitted to an analytical lab for testing.
    5. The soil will be replaced from where the tank was removed if no contamination is detected. If there is evidence of contamination, the hole will be lined with plastic and backfilled. For abandonments, the tank will be filled with a material determined by local regulations to prevent cave-ins and tank surfacing.
    6. Documentation is provided to the homeowner and local Fire Marshal of the soil analysis approximately one week after the tank removal.