If you have an older oil tank on your land that is still in use or one that has not been properly decommissioned, you need to monitor it for possible problems. Although these tanks were meant to last for decades, they cannot last forever. If you have a tank that is corroding, chances are it is releasing oil into the soil. Since you are responsible for this tank and the negative affect it may have on the environment, you need to take care of the problem as soon as possible.
You should hire a reputable company to take care of inspecting the oil tank. If you are lucky, the tank will be intact and no further action will be necessary. You will pay approximately $1000 to $1500 to have an inactive tank extracted, but doing so will better enable you to sell your property down the road. Buyers will need to know that this possible serious issue has been addressed. Also, you will be able to rest easy knowing that the tank isn't polluting the land and/or groundwater. If you need a tank replacement, you may want to move it above ground to prevent possible contamination problems.
If the condition of the tank is suspect, you will need to have testing done to find out the extent of the leakage problem. Experts may use a pressure test to find out if a tank that is operational has leaks. They will shut off the oil tanks and pipes and see if the pressure drops after a period of time. Soil tests may also be indicated to find out if contamination has occurred. Experts will take soil "borings" to find out how far the oil has spread.
Remediation can be an expensive proposition but one that is necessary to protect the environment. Once they determine how far the oil has spread, the company will mark the area and remove the polluted dirt, disposing of it in an area approved for such soil.
If you have an underground oil tank on your land, it may need to be removed. Old tanks often corrode and release their contents, polluting the soil and sometimes the groundwater. If the oil tank is compromised, you need to have any contamination removed. If you still need a new tank, you can find a company that will do an oil tank installation in your yard These steps are will cost your money, but you will pay less by catching the problem early.