It hasn’t been too long since fuel tanks started becoming obsolete, and if you have an old home, chances are it has one installed. Older homes had oil tanks installed in the basement to hold fuel for heating appliances in places with frigid climates. But as time has passed on, the insulation and heating systems have improved enough to render the tanks useless. Because of this, many oil tanks have not seen usage in decades, leading to corrosion and potential leaks.

These leaks not only affect the property value but also cause serious harm to the environment. The dangers of an oil leak are grave enough for the government to step in and take action. With hazards like underground water contamination, immediate action is necessary.

What follows is a guide containing all the relevant facts and information to help you understand the complete scope of the problem. These points will walk you through the removal process as well, so all you have to do is scroll away.

The Environmental Impacts Of An Oil Tank Leak

  1. Destruction Of Flora

A leaking oil tank leads to the fluid seeping into the surrounding soil and contaminating it. This directly impacts the surrounding plants and trees, causing them to wither and perish over time.

It doesn’t take too long for an unattended oil leak to spread far and wide, leading to the destruction of the surrounding flora. Eventually, this escalates enough to affect the surrounding fauna and humans as well.

  1. Water Contamination

Soil can’t filter out oil, and oil leaks can reach far beneath the ground and contaminate the water table upon which many residences rely. This contamination can lead to various health issues, potentially causing serious harm to your health.

Moreover, groundwater and surface water are often connected, making oil leaks all the more pressing to tackle. If the surface water is contaminated, it could escalate to become an issue for a community that relies on water bodies for their daily supply.

Once fouled, restoring the water table to its original uncontaminated form is no easy feat. The process is lengthy and difficult, involving a myriad of cleaning processes in the surrounding areas. And the restoration doesn’t come in cheap, leaving your pockets considerably lighter.

  1. Impact On Humans And Wildlife

Wildlife is arguably affected the worst in the event of an oil leak. In addition to the fouled soil and water, oil leaks inevitably give rise to vapors, exposure to which can be hazardous to all lifeforms. If exposed for long, it may not be long before you see ill effects of the exposure on the surrounding fauna.

By extension, exposure to vapors is quite harmful to humans as well, leading to symptoms such as nausea, disorientation, headaches, and more. Prolonged exposure may result in serious health issues, such as convulsions, irregular heartbeats, or even coma.

How To Have Your Gas Tank Removed

Gas tank removal can be an expensive affair, so doing your research before approaching it is an important task. Unless the tank has been damaged extensively, it may be possible to clean and remove it safely in a span of a day or two.

Here’s how you have your gas tank removed by fuel tank removal specialists.

  1. Legal Permits

Some local or state governments require you to get a permit before you have the tank removed, requiring notification of the removal in advance. The process of obtaining one includes detailed information about the tank and its location, as well as a diagram in some cases.

There are several regulations that one must follow while approaching gas tank removal, and you should look deeply into the matter. In some areas, a local inspector will examine the tank and surrounding areas before you get a permit.

  1. Hire A Gas Tank Removal Specialist

Removing a gas tank involves plenty of hoops to jump through and plans to weave, making it a complex and time-consuming task. Oil tank removal specialists will take care of a vast majority of it, as they are certified to execute the removal process.

Be sure to check their credentials before you enlist their services for tank removal.

  1. Tank Cleaning

Gas tank removal may damage the tank itself, which is why it is cleaned thoroughly to minimize the chances of a leak. This includes draining the fluid inside the tank, as well as replacing the air inside it. After all, it is the fuel vapor that is flammable and not the liquid itself.

Once the tank is cleared completely and the air inside it is replaced with an inert gas, it is ready to be extracted.

  1. Extracting The Tank

Older tanks can be rusty and fragile, and may come apart while being removed, but newer tanks may remain intact and fit for reuse.

Either way, your contractor will remove the tank from its housing and remove any soil around it. The tank will then be transported away from the site to be disposed of safely following a series of steps, including:

  • Clearing out fuel vapor
  • Disposal of tank residue
  • Tank system cleansing
  • Clearing out the accrued sludge
  1. Gauge The Environmental Impact

If your tank has leaked into the soil, an official will collect soil samples in the tank’s vicinity and have it examined. In case the leak was extensive, the soil will be disposed of accordingly, and officials will prepare a detailed report of the same.


In this day and age, having your gas tank removed has become a necessity. The risks they pose are far more severe than any benefits they may provide, which is why acting quickly is paramount.

Neglecting an oil leak is a dangerous practice, and if you see any signs of one, you must contact your local authorities at once. Though expensive, removing the tank before it causes further harm is ultimately better for your health as well as that of the environment.

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