Home Selling in 01109>Question Details

Thomasina, Both Buyer and Seller in Springfield, MA

How do I know if there is an undergound oil tank on my property?

Asked by Thomasina, Springfield, MA Wed Oct 14, 2009

I am selling my home. During the inspection it was discovered that my home used to have oil. These was never noted during the inspection I did when I bought the home. The buyers have asked that I confirm that there is no underground oil tank. We have tried to find the person who sold me the home, who was the sole owner of the property, without success. I never knew my home previously had oil, so I don't know how to go about finding out what happened to the old oil tank. What do I do?

Help the community by answering this question:


The fire dept in Springfield is supposed to certify all underground tank removals. They should be called in and inspect if the tank is leaking when removed. We are also buying a home in Springfield and our realtor called to verify. However, i am also going there today to get a copy of the certificate.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 17, 2012
Many times, in different communities where oil tanks were once prevalent, the local government requires that the removal of a tank be registered and certified by the township. So check with the township to see if they have any records of a tank being removed (or filled in) on your property.

In our area (where oil tanks were once used), the onus to identify whether there is a tank (assuming it's not obvious) on the premises falls on the buyer. The buyer's inspector identified that the house used to use oil, but has found no trace that an oil tank still exists. It's highly likely that when the oil furnace was removed, the oil tank may have been removed, or filled in with sand.

I would say that if they'd like to pay for ground penetrating radar, or some kind of probe, they're welcome to do so... and, of course, if they find a tank the onus may fall on you to remove it (or negotiate some of that cost).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 15, 2009
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Just go after the inspector you hired and lie to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 29, 2010
I hope this will assist in your search , recommend contact a professional

Here are two direct link: http://www.inspect-ny.com/oiltanks/tankaudt.htm
How to Find Underground Oil Tanks - Onsite Inspection of Properties for Evidence of Buried Oil Tanks

How to Locate, Inspect, Test and Repair your Home Heating Oil Tank

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
You should consult with your real estate professional if you are using one for some names of tank removal companies. Most environmental inspection services also have the tools to do an inspection for tanks. You should absolutely consult with your attorney to clarify what is being asked of you though. The buyers may be simply asking for you to verify that durring your time of ownership you didn't put in, remove or repair any underground storage tanks. Your town may have some records on a tank, it's location, type, date of install, or may not, it's not uncommon for the info to be missing.

Typically searches for an underground tank would be done by ground penetrating radar/sonar, magnetic sensors or petroleum/hydrocarbon probes. Before getting too involved consult with your professionals to see how to best address this issue and how to proceed.

Hope that helps
Web Reference: http://www.MedfordHouse.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
The location of an oil storage tank for the purpose of home heating would likely be found in onr of three locations:

1. underground on the side of the home nearest the furnace

2. in the cellar

3. above ground, outside generally near the furnace

A heating contractor could likely evaluate this and show you signs of where the storage container was located. Or have someone with a metal detector do a sweep of the area around your home.

It's our experience that the majoriy of oil storage facilities in the northeast are located in the cellar.

Good luck
The Eckler Team
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2009
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