Storage tamks can leak.
Check your heating oil tank before it
becomes an environmental problem or affects
a real estate transaction. Prevention can save you money and protect the environment.
Older storage tanks for home heating oil—whether underground, above-ground, or in the basement—can rust and leak over time, and contaminate soil or ground water. This poses a number of environmental/health risks and New Jersey law requires homeowners to take prompt action to minimize those risks.
Signs that a home heating oil tank is leaking include:
an unexplained increase in fuel oil consumption
water in your underground storage tank
constant problems with your oil burner
staining on basement walls or floor
oil sheen in basement sump or French drain
fuel oil odors in areas other than around the oil burner
If you have any of the conditions described above, contact your heating system service company to rule out maintenance problems. To determine if the problems are caused by a leaking fuel oil storage tank, contact an environmental contractor listed in the telephone book, or consult the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection list of certified "Cleanup Stars," who are pre-qualified by the NJDEP to investigate and remediate certain sites, including homeowner oil tanks. For a list of NJDEP-certified Cleanup Stars, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/srp/cleanupstar/cstar_dir.htm.
Article published in New Jersey Municipalities Magazine, May 2007