Believe it or not, many homes and commercial spaces build before the 1950’s were originally heated with furnace oil.  It was a practice that, after many years of course, became irrelevant as the potential damage was realized. When the revolution of natural gas became acknowledged, the oil storage tanks that were normally located in backyards, in parking lots, or underground were filled with sand or were capped.

However, this method of storage started to corrode over time and, in some situations the previous method of oil storage became a significant hazard. The remaining oil that was not capped would leak and flow onto the owner’s property, which resulted in contamination. The need for professional oil storage was essential, and home owners and business owners alike found themselves in a great deal of legal liability for potential contamination.


Where did this contamination take place?

There were many municipalities with buried oil tanks, from Burnaby and Coquitlam to North Vancouver and West Vancouver. Overall, twelve municipalities now require that out of service underground storage tanks be removed and all contaminated soil be replaced.

The responsibility for such a task lies on the home or property owner; and, of course, the cost to remove can be very high. In one situation reported in West Vancouver, a property owner was unaware that there was a buried oil tank on the property and had to spend over $150,000 to remove the contaminated fuel. Imagine that!


Alternatives to on-site oil storage

Of course, underground oil storage in homes or underneath buildings is not a practice that continued past the 1950’s. As such, companies like Western Oil Services focuses on retail gas operations, including the retrofitting of older systems. We specialize in fuel storage for industrial and commercial sites, always ensuring that our client needs are met.

The benefits of removing a tank, according to the City of Vancouver are:

  1. Improves your property’s environmental conditions

  2. Satisfies lenders, buyers, and insurance agents

  3. Removes high-risk conditions

  4. Reduces your environmental liability and subsequent effects to your property value


If you find an oil tank on your property that you are unsure of, perform the following (if in the City of Vancouver):


  1. Check the records of the City of Vancouver here
  2. Hire a contractor to confirm and search the property
  3. Retain the contractor to remove the tank


Click here to learn more about the steps to take if you find an oil storage tank on your property.

At Western Oil Services, we have safely and securely supported our commercial clients in oil and fuel storage for decades. If you are inquiring about how we can support your business, contact us here.