Residential Oil Tank Guidelines

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Currently Federal, State and Local Regulations allow an underground fuel oil tank to remain indefinitely while it is still in use, regardless of age, as long as it is not leaking.  If an underground fuel oil tank is discontinued, however, it must be either removed from the ground or properly abandoned in place within 90 days. Generally, complete removal is the most cost effective and satisfactory.


If a tank is to be abandoned in place, it must be emptied of all products, then exposed and opened. The tank then must be filled with approved foam or cement slurry. Sand is generally not acceptable due to the inability to fill all voids completely. (Prior to abandonment, an approved method must be employed to insure that the tank was not leaking. This can be done by core samples or pressure tests of the tank.)

When an underground fuel oil tank is removed, a soil sample should be taken from the "grave" of the tank and tested by an approved laboratory for possible contamination. If the tank was leaking, it should be readily obvious at the time of removal.

New tanks may be installed in basement, garages and outside above ground. In addition, properly listed underground storage tanks are still allowed.

The contractor conducting tank removals must contact the Westport Fire Marshal's Office for proper documentation and "tracking" forms. A permit from the Westport Building Department must be obtained for all new installations, regardless of the location.

If a tank is found to be leaking, the tank must be removed. All contaminated soil must be removed by a licensed hazardous materials contractor. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection must be notified, as well as the Westport Fire Marshal's Office.

Any questions may be referred to the Westport Fire Marshal's Office at 203-341-5020.