Buried Fuel storage tanks

Does anyone know if there is some place within the Ontario Government that maintains a list of properties where an underground fuel storage tank has been installed?

I have checked the TSSA website and Ministry of the Environment with out any luck. Any other ideas you can think of?


Not that I know of. neighbours can help some times .
I found One in front yard and talking to the neighbour was told there are two buried under the Drive way at the back. They filled school busses there
I write hard and tell it like it is a underground tank can cost some where between $3,000;00 and $400,000,00 to remove .
The last price I heard on Contaminated soil is about $4,000.00 a yard to remove .
I found one 8 years ago and it cost them $69,000.00 for clean up. A BBQ rotisserie rod works great as a probe

Try the Ontario fire marshals office or dept of environment .

TSSA Fuels Safety Program at 1-877-682-8772.
They only be on record if someone register it , I know someone was cataloging them from area views 15 years ago . But with old age i can not remember who. I was certified for underground storage many moons ago lol

Some local governments are now asking oil delivery companies to provide them with their customers’ addresses, I’m assuming so as to inspect them all in the future.

This is a very important topic. The scariest ‘buried fuel oil tank’ story I have heard is one told by Roy Cooke Jr. several years ago. It certainly made me and many other inspectors look a lot harder for these hidden treasures. I would retell it but likely his Dad, Roy Sr., knows the story much better and with more detail.

Over to you, Roy.

Bill Mullen

[FONT=Times New Roman][size=3]Thanks Bill the one that comes to mind is the one that made me and many others drop our home Inspectors Insurance . He found a home that had a 5 year old gas furnace and an old tank with 5~ inches of oil still in it .
He wrote it up Hard in about three places in his report .
Example Abandon oil tank with some oil in it .
It needs to be removed immediately by a qualified person .
A leaky tank can cause much damage .
Much later the new home owner decided to remove it himself and a couple of friends .
1/2 way up the stairs they dropped it and oil every where .
The home owner sued ,Roy JR the two agents and previous home owner .
Roy Reported it to his insurance company and stated he was not responsible and they should not pay as the Home owner did not follow his recommendations .
Well the insurance company did pay they got them selves and Roy off for $5,000;00 ( Roy’s deductible was $5,000;00) they also raised his premium because he had a claim. Insurance companies are not our friend .
I have saved about $35,000;00 by no longer having Insurance .
I know many more who no longer carry Insurance .
I am Claims free 12 years .

A friend here payed over $35000 to remove and clean up.
I know some more inspection is being done overtop of the Oil delivery guys here. Each tank gets a tag showing it was checked with a punched out date and year, if you don’t see the tag the tank may be over 10yrs old.
Always check for oil or rust on the under belly.

Thanks for the replies

A friend of mine did an inspection about 5 years ago. He just got a lawsuit for $2 Million because a buried oil tank was found on the property.

Here is the kicker!
His insurance company denied the claim at first. He had to fight tooth and nail to get them to address the suit. :twisted:

I was just wondering about some rule where the tanks had to be registered.


I know about the TSSA inspection tags but I have NEVER seen one.
I always call it out and suggest having the tank and system inspected by a qualified contractor.


Doug did he call it out when he did the inspection?
was it a Private tank or commercial?
If it was a commercial he was mandated to be replaced with a new tank with a outer holding tank.
I wonder why they going after him instead of the previous owner.
X father in law own a fuel oil company in the RichmondHill area he went through this also sold the property disclosed the tanks were there ,then someone built a sub division over them , I believe he Leased them off gulf and it fell back on them for not removing them. but again this was 25 years ago.

Nope… he missed it It was a residential unit and the fill and vent pipes were concealed by bushes or something. I don’t know all the nitty gritty details though.

Funny that his max insurance coverage is $2 Mill
Go figure


Interresting topic and comments.
(Thank you Roy for sharing!)
A few years back, a broker told me that via satellite, the technology existed and that we were now able to actually view burried oil tanks. If that is the case, owners should be advised by authority inspectors should have access, much contamination could be avoided and owners who would then know, should be forced to declare them.
As far as having oil resting in a tank, if the furnace is not using oil, then the oil storage should not be tolerated by authorities unless done in a proper way and permit.
Marc-Andre Beauchemin,B.A.
of BMAinspection.com from Brossard

It is regulated by the Oil Delivery Companies much like the gas is regulated by Gas Company. Each company has to have a trained inspector. TSSA is regulated body asking for the info and some training is done by NRG resource inc, this is the general info for Oil Installation Inspectors, testing and installers and is not to be confused with a burner and boilers tech license.

I had not 6 months ago here, same thing actually had a bird house attached, I accidentally seen it in fact, I noticed the breather on top of the pipe, Then i seen oil line tucked behind the gas furnace. I noted in my report that it should be removed . then the brown stuff hit the fan lolol. Home was own by a relocate company. Buyers agent went through hell but got them to remove it. I had about 8 calls , Sellers agent said it was not a problem because it still was holding oil.
BTW i did find out there really isn’t set rule for residential under ground storage here in TN.

This was about the 4 one i have found here in TN

Most methods are way above a home Inspection.
I wonder should have a disclaimer in our contract .
Remember we are doing a visual inspection only .




Doug Any more news on your Friends Lawsuit … Roy

Just that the insurance company has seen the light (their potential loss of millions in revenue) and decided to fight the claim.

It won’t be done in either of our lifetimes


Here is a BBQ Shaft that I use to check if I suspect an Underground tank .
Have found 7 over the years Please do not miss them.
This is my flash light also yellow tape every 4 inches.
I stand it up and take a picture to show depth of the insulation .


Good idea on the yellow tape. Gives me an idea!!