Underground Tank Sweep
There are an estimated 542,000 underground storage tanks (UST) nationwide that store heating oil or hazardous substances. A leaking UST can potentially cause contamination of the soil and nearby groundwater, which is the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. Fuel oil has been used for heating homes in NJ and PA for over 75 years and was commonly installed in homes built from the 1940's up to the early 1980's.
Remediation of a leaking UST can become very expensive and is the responsibility of the property owner where the tank is located. This expense is not covered by most home owner insurance and clean-up can cost anywhere from $10,000 to over $100,000 depending on the extent of the environmental hazard present. If contamination is discovered, the property cannot be sold until a clearance certificate (NFA) is issued by the EPA.
Searching for UST at a property was not a common practice during a real estate transaction until the last 10-15 years. Many homes were sold with buried fuel tanks that the current property owners unfortunately may not be aware are present.
It is important to inspect for a UST when purchasing an older home that relies on oil fuel or was built between 1940-1985 and does not have adequate records to rely on. Don't get stuck with a expensive environmental hazard.