Underground Oil Tanks



If you use fuel oil to heat and/or provide hot water to your home or business and if you store that oil in an underground tank you should consider the following facts:

1.  Fuel oil contains chemicals that can pollute drinking water and has been found in shallow wells.

2.  This oil has not yet reached our drinking water supply.

3.  We know that the movement of groundwater is such that we are currently drinking water that was recharged into the ground many years ago.  Fuel oil that is leaking now may reach our drinking water wells in future years.

4.  If your oil tank is 30 years old or older it may be about ready to fail.  DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!  A TANK THAT HAS LEAKED CAN BE VERY COSTLY!!


If you store 1100 gallons or less of heating oil in an underground tank, you should consider replacing it with a new tank.  Homeowners and other small facilities that wish to abandon their non-leaking tanks must take the following steps:

1.  Obtain the services of a contractor to abandon the old tank in place.  Very often your oil company will do this work or recommend a contractor.  You may do this work yourself if you conform to the requirements described below.

2.  Using the attached forms notify the Health Department seven days in advance of the abandonment.  If the tank is not leaking, to the best of your knowledge, include with the notification a notarized statement attesting to that effect.  Additional forms for this purpose may be obtained from the Health Department by calling (516) 227-9691 or from your contractor or oil supplier.

3.  Along with the paperwork submit a check payable to the Nassau County Department of Health for $70.00 for each tank abandoned in place.

4.  If the tank is to be removed from the ground, contact the Department for the form used for that purpose.


1.  The tank must be completely emptied of oil including any remaining residue/water.  All lines to the tank are cut below grade and plugged.  A hole is cut in the tank and sand, concrete slurry, or an approved foam product is used to fill the tank.

2.  If you continue to heat with oil, install a new fiberglass underground tank or a steel aboveground tank.  The new tank is then connected to your heating system using all new materials.