June 18, 2020

Removing a Derelict Oil Tank from Our West Vancouver Home

When we bought our home in 1998 we had no idea that there was a home heating tank still on the property. It was buried in the backyard. It hadn’t been used since the 60s or 70s. However, over that time, condensation had caused the tank to rust from the inside and eventually it leaked. Too bad it happened on our watch. I began to notice a patch of grass in the back lawn, close to the house where the grass had stopped growing. A couple of months went by and I realized that it was getting larger. One of our neighbors suggested it might be a buried tank. They had had one out about twelve years earlier.

Getting to Grips with the Issue

I did a little research into the subject and realized that these hazards were quite common. Oil tank removal in Vancouver it seemed was an ongoing project. They had been phased out or abandoned as gas, propane and electricity became more effective sources of home heating. It quickly became evident that we were responsible for any soil or ground water contamination originating from this tank, so the priority became to get it removed.

Regulation and Consultancy

Oil tank removal in Vancouver as it turns out is a highly regulated business. We got an environmental consultant out to scan the site and they were able to confirm, without doing any excavations, that a tank was buried there. They explained that a permit was required to remove it, so we applied to the West Vancouver Fire and Rescue. The removal and cleaning of the site was done very efficiently by the consultancy company. The tank and affected soil was taken away to be properly disposed of and fresh soil was put in its place. It cost us a little money at the time but it was a relief to get it disposed of. The insurance issues it raised and its effect on the resale value of the house were too significant to ignore.