How to Identify Leaking Before Oil Tank Removal?

oil tank removal

Identifying leaks in an oil tank before removal is vital to prevent environmental contamination and safeguard the safe disposal of the tank. Detecting leaks early allows for appropriate remediation measures and minimises potential risks related to oil spills. Here’s a described guide on how to find leaking before oil tank removal:

Visual Inspection:

Performing a visual inspection of the oil tank and its surrounding area is the first step in identifying potential leaks. Here’s what to look for:

Oil Stains:

Check for visible oil stains or discolouration around the tank and on the ground nearby. Leaking oil can seep into the soil, causing dark patches or sheens on the surface.

Corrosion or Rust:

Examine the tank for signs of corrosion or rust spots. Corrosion weakens the tank’s integrity, increasing the risk of leaks.

Drips or Puddles:

Look underneath the tank for any signs of oil drips or puddles. This indicates an active leak.

Vegetation Changes:

Pay attention to changes in vegetation around the tank area. Dead or discoloured plants may indicate soil contamination from oil leaks.

Tank Integrity:

Inspect the tank structure for any visible cracks, dents, or bulges that could indicate damage and potential leaks.

Soil and Groundwater Testing:

Testing the soil and groundwater around the oil tank can reveal contamination due to leaks. Consider the following methods:

Soil Sampling:

Collect soil samples from areas around the tank and send them to a laboratory for analysis. Testing will detect the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in the soil.

Groundwater Monitoring Wells:

Install monitoring wells near the tank to regularly sample groundwater. Analysing groundwater quality can indicate if the oil has leaked and contaminated the aquifer.

Odor Detection:

The smell of petroleum can be a strong indicator of oil leaks. Use your sense of smell to detect any unusual odours around the tank area. If you detect a persistent oily or chemical smell, it may indicate an active leak.

Tank Gauge Monitoring

If the oil tank is still in use, monitor the tank gauge regularly for unexpected drops in oil levels. Sudden decreases in oil volume without explanation could signal a leak.

oil tank removals

Soil Vapor Testing

Conduct soil vapour testing to detect the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with oil contamination. Soil vapour sampling can provide valuable information about subsurface contamination.

Ultrasonic Testing

Employ ultrasonic testing to assess the thickness of the tank walls. Thinning tank walls can indicate corrosion and potential weak points where leaks may occur.

Professional Inspection:

Hire a qualified environmental consultant or technician to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the oil tank and surrounding area. Professionals can use specialised equipment and techniques to identify leaks accurately.

Historical Records Review

Review historical records related to the oil tank, including maintenance logs, leak detection reports, and previous soil testing results. Past incidents or maintenance issues may provide clues about potential leaks.

Thermal Imaging

Use thermal imaging cameras to detect temperature anomalies around the tank area. Oil leaks can alter the thermal characteristics of soil, which can be captured through thermal imaging.

Tracer Dye Testing

Conduct tracer dye testing by introducing a fluorescent dye into the oil tank. If the dye appears in the soil or groundwater around the tank, it confirms a leak pathway. Identifying oil tank leaks before removal is vital for protecting the environment and ensuring safe tank disposal. A combination of visual inspections, testing methods, and professional evaluations can detect leaks accurately and take appropriate remedial actions.

How to avoid potential oil tank leaks?

  • A thorough inspection should comprise visual checks inside the basement or furnace area for key indicators like copper oil lines, foundation wall holes, or small trenches on the basement floor. These signs can be critical in locating hidden oil tanks and preventing potential leaks.
  • Inspectors must be appropriately trained to operate the equipment used for oil tank detection. Simply keeping a metal detector isn’t enough; hands-on training and experience are essential to find and assess oil tank presence and condition efficiently.
  • Always verify that inspectors carry suitable insurance when hiring them for underground oil tank searches. They navigate your property, probe the ground, and may need to access tight spaces like under decks or through bushes. Proper insurance coverage protects both you and them in case of accidents or injuries during the inspection process.
  • Be alert of companies that solely offer oil tank searches without any experience in tank removal. Before hiring, ask about their overall experience and range of services beyond tank searches. Certify the company stands behind their inspection reports. Some companies may offer written reports with disclaimers and exceptions that limit their accountability if a tank is missed.

At Network Environmental UK, we are excited about the chance to continue offering London our guaranteed satisfaction in oil tank and boiler removal services.

Read More Blogs At: Emperior Tech

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