Tank Locating

Knowing where an underground storage tank (UST) is located is very important for inspection of a tank. Determining the location of a UST can be as easy as finding the fill port of the UST, usually located in the yard near the dwelling; or as hard as having to hire a utility locating specialist to find the UST.  The cost could vary from $0 to $700. Some methods to find the location of USTs are:

  1. Look for fill ports or vent pipes protruding from the subsurface. If you can find the fill port it can be a good indication where a UST is located since the pipe usually is usually located above the location of the tank. A fill port is usually a 2-inch diameter steel pipe with a screw or flip cap covering the pipe hole. A vent line is usually a 1-inch diameter steel pipe either located next to the fill port or located next to the wall of the dwelling.
  2. Look for 3/8-inch diameter copper tubing in the crawl space or basement. There are usually two copper tubes side by side which used to supply fuel to the oil furnace and return excess oil to the tank. Where the copper tubes exit the crawlspace or basement through the foundation wall is usually an indication where tanks might be located or was located outside the foundation wall. Some tanks are or have been located inside crawlspaces and basements.
  3. Interview previous owners and/or neighbors. If you know when a tank was last used or when new service was installed (check with PSNC if applicable), one can determine through tax record who owned the property at that time. Making contact and asking the previous owner where the tank is or was located could be a potential solution. Asking neighbors who have lived in the neighborhood for a while could also be a source of good information.
  4. Hiring a utility locator with ground penetrating radar or other remote sensing capabilities is an option. Usually it is the last option due to the cost to have it located; however, it could be worth the money considering the potential liabilities associated with a leaking tank.


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