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Advice from the DEP
Why Yank That Tank?



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

 

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