Buried Oil Tanks

Looking for some feedback on buried oil tanks- I have found them and recommend review- to determine the current state/condition… Typically the sellers didn’t even know they had them. Anyone have any past experience in the FLA… with removal and or review. thks- Fall is around the corner “i hope”

A potentially very serious issue as clean up cost can be unbelievably pricey if the soil is contaminated.

Fully inform our client.

I had 1 two weeks ago and my client walked away from his deal.

My state has a tank registry bur that does not mean any given tank is on it.

Its more to keep track of tanks that have been removed or filled.


The sellers probably knew. They were just playing dumb because they are a very big deal and can be expensive to remove even if they haven’t been compromised. Always call them out for testing before closing. In most states, failures have to be reported to the state environmental department by law.

I had the sellers of my current home pay to remove an underground oil tank to the tune of $6K before we closed. If the soil had been contaminated, the project would have been $30K+

Treat an underground oil tank as you would a big horizontal Crack in a foundation. It can turn someone’s home ownership dream into a nightmare.

Call the Florida Department of Health and ask them. When I was in NJ it was a big concern. In Florida I have only ever encountered one buried tank. We did some research and I don’t remember coming up with anything dealing with specifically on residential property. Regardless you should still identify it and recommend further guidance on any removal requirements


Not necessarily around here. Many buyers and sellers simply don’t know that years ago these older homes had fuel oil furnaces- the furnace was removed decades ago and replaced with (most likely) an all electric heat pump.

And they are not required to be removed, decommissioned, or tested in residential property in our State.

Report what you find and explain the issues.


That is probably true but it misses the large point.

The property owner is liable for the cost of any cleanup if removal is needed and if soil contamination has occurred the costs are not trivial.

If someone buys the property he is now on the hook is problems occur, not the former owner.

Its best to have this resolved prior to transfer of property to the new owner.

Last time I was told of someone removing one in our area it was less than a thousand dollars.

Unless there has been soil contamination.

THAT is the real issue.

You do not know unless the tank is pressure tested or dug up.

Thanks for the feedback- I will be onsite tomorrow- I Found a local environmental company who is meeting the buyers on site to inspect and provide some feedback. Takes me out of the picture- Will let you know what we learn together tomorrow-