Oil Tank Property Inspections (locating underground tanks)

When questions arise regarding did a house ever have oil heat, a professional inspection of the property can be necessary.  Depending on the age of a home, oil heat may have been utilized.  Many homes first started on coal and then progressed to oil and then to natural gas.  Finding tanks is not always easy, but professionals can look for tell tale signs that a tank was or is present. Walking inspections of a property can be combined, with metal detector sweeps and ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys can be performed to locate BOTH buried tanks as well as excavations where tanks were once located.

Buying or selling a home with a buried oil tank raises concerns on both sides of the table.  Full disclosure and investigation of an oil tank is necessary to ensure that it is known that the tank is or has not leaked.

locating buried oil tanks

 

How do I know if an oil tank is buried on the property I am buying (or selling?

Call Curren Environmental, Inc. we utilizes a 20 point inspection process to determine if a tank is present.  Our inspections involves both on site and off site research and is the most thorough in the industry. 

What if I a buy a property and THEN find a buried tank?  Who pays for the tank problem?

Unfortunately, you bought the property and the tank.  Buyer beware has never been more important then when purchaseing a home with a potential buried oil tank.

 

What if there are no visible signs that a tank was present, can you use electronic or x ray (xray) methods to locate a tank?

Metal detector scans are performed to evaluate for buried steel tanks.   Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) can be used, which send a radar signal into the ground, buried tanks, pipes and former tank excavations can be located as the radar signal will reflect off these images.

 

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Naked to the eye, a Underground Storage Tank (UST) is present beneath the asphalt.

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Why is GPR better than a metal detector scan?

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) provides the ability to scan the ground for buried tanks AND areas where tanks have been removed.  Metal detectors can't find former tank locations where buyers need to test the soil to confirm the prior tank did not leak.    

Also metal detectors can give false reading by aboveground metal site features, such as fences, ac units, rebar and wire mesh in concrete.

 

We are typically called to scan a property after a metal detector survey was completed and found to be inconclusive.  Unfortunately these clients end up paying twice because they bought a service on price not effectiveness.   Our surveys include BOTH GPR and METAL DETECTOR SURVEYS.

Is a GPR scan worth the extra cost?

The shorty answer is yes.

Curren technicians utilize three separate technologies to scan for tanks (GPR, Radio Frequency (RF for tracing pipes) and magnetometer), the most thorough in the industry.  Each tools helps fill in data gaps that you have when only using a single technology such as a metal detector.   Using radar technology (GPR), actual subsurface objects can be mapped out.

You are also paying for what you get, metals detectors can be purchased for under $1,000.00, where as Curren's approach utilizes equipment costing tens of thousands of dollars.   Our approach is a commercial standard, priced for the consumer.