If you own a home built between 1900 and 1985, there may be an underground storage tank (UST) or an old heating oil tank buried in your yard. If so, you may be cited with multiple environmental violations. You may have to pay thousands of dollars in oil cleanup and tank removal costs. The best way to avoid these violations and penalties is to schedule a residential tank scan in Portland, OR.
Alpha Environmental offers a comprehensive tank sweep service to locate and identify any oil tanks in your yard. We use advanced technology and methods to find a variety of tanks, such as heating oil tanks and underground storage tanks. Contact Alpha Environmental today to schedule a residential tank scan. Let us help you create a safer environment in your yard.
Why Is a Tank Scan Important?
Chances are, you were unaware that an oil tank existed in your yard when you purchased your house. Tanks often go unnoticed or unreported in an appraisal and inspection. They can remain underground for several decades. As a result, they become a liability to the homeowner and other residents in the immediate neighborhood. There can be tanks in multiple homes in the same area.
Underground storage tanks and heating oil tanks typically have a lifespan of 10-20 years. Over time, the moisture in the ground causes the tank material to break down causing a leak of a hazardous substance.
There are two main reasons why you should schedule a professional tank scan:
1. Mortgage Requirements
Mortgage lenders will not approve loan requests on properties that contain abandoned or untested oil tanks. Whether you are trying to buy or sell a house, the loan application may be denied if an inspector discovers a buried oil tank.
2. Environmental Damage
A gradual leak that occurs over several years can seep into groundwater, which carries it to surface water. Groundwater may become unusable for consumption or irrigation. A single tank can have a far-reaching impact on the environment – not just your yard. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has requirements for testing and clean-up of underground storage tanks and heating oil tanks. Alpha Environmental is certified, licensed, insured and bonded to assist you through the entire process.
Do I Need an Oil Tank Sweep?
It is nearly impossible to determine if you need a residential oil tank scan, as most tanks are buried deep into the ground and out of sight. However, there are some signs that an oil tank scan is necessary.
For instance, any house built between 1900 and 1985 is automatically a candidate for an oil tank sweep, as tank installation was standard practice during that period. If a vent pipe, fill pipe, or above-ground tank is present in the yard, there is a good chance that a UST is just below.
You may also notice symptoms of a leak, such as:
- Increased heating costs
- Oil sheen in groundwater
- Oil stain spots
- A strong, constant smell of oil
- Dead vegetation above or near the tank
Types of Storage Tanks We Scan
Alpha Environmental certified technicians are licensed and have extensive experience sweeping residential and commercial storage tanks. Two types of tanks that we scan include:
Heating Oil Tanks
Heating oil tanks come in all shapes and sizes and carry toxic fuels such as kerosene, range oil, and even jet fuel. The tank is made of galvanized steel, which can rust over time, allowing oil to leak in the yard.
Underground Storage Tanks
For a container to be an underground storage tank, it must contain at least 10 percent of the combined volume underground. According to the EPA, less than 4,000 of these tanks meet state or federal safety standards.
Fuel & Gas Tanks
Gas and fuel tanks may be stored at your home or property for an emergency generator, lawnmower, or any other purpose.
Our Tank Scanning Process
If there are no evident signs of an oil tank in your yard, the surface equipment or piping may have been removed, leaving only the submerged tank. This tank can be difficult to find. This is why you need a professional oil tank scan. Alpha Environmental uses sophisticated equipment and extensive research to locate the tank in your yard.
If the tank exists in your yard, we will do our best to determine its location and make recommendations on safely following the DEQ’s guidelines for the property.
Schedule a Tank Scan Today
If you need a tank scan in Portland, Oregon, contact Alpha Environmental today. Call (503) 292-5346 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free estimate.