Underground Fuel Oil Tanks
Rarely, I’ll come across a couple of pipes sticking up in the yard, usually near the house. These two pipes are the fill pipe and vent pipe for an underground tank that contained fuel oil for the old oil heaters used here in Florida.
The issue is liability. The owner of the tank is the one responsible for the removal and remediation of contamination. Don’t let this be you.
The cost to remove the old tank can range from $1,000 to $2,000 if is it still sound (no leaks). The costs go up tremendously if it has leaked. Homeadvisor says the costs can be between $10,000 up to $100,000 or more if it has leaked and contaminated the surrounding soils.
If it has leaked fuel oil and contaminated the aquifer there is no end to government involvement and fines.
Bottom line is if your inspector finds one of these, have the seller pay to removed it and certify compliance. This is one time you really want to see proper paperwork.