Frequently Asked Questions

When you say “flat rate” what exactly is covered?

Unlike our competitors, our flat rate covers the entire process. From the procuring of permits through the restoration of your property and final inspections, everything is covered in our initial quote. There are no hidden fees with ERC, which means that once you make the decision to hire us, you don’t have to worry about surprise costs for which you had not budgeted.

If my tank is bigger than expected or the soil is more contaminated than initially thought, will my costs rise?

No. With ERC, your flat rate is comprehensive and guaranteed. There are no issues you could encounter along the way that would cause ERC to raise your price from the initial quote.

When do I have to pay ERC?

ERC will ask you to pay a 50% deposit after you return the signed proposal. The payment of this deposit initiates ERC filing the paperwork to request permits and calling the utility company to mark out the property for safe digging. The other 50% of the flat rate is not due until all work has been completed, your property has been restored, and the building department inspects and approves the work and closes all outstanding permits.

I didn’t even realize the oil tank was there. Why do I need to get it removed?

While an oil tank can remain safely underground for years, the longer the tank remains, the higher the chances for leakage. Tanks installed before the late 1990’s have a life expectancy of 15-20 years and the majority have reached their expiration date. Even a small leak can cause serious damage if not discovered for a long period of time.  Soil and groundwater contamination is not simply a health concern, but also a legal liability for you, as a property owner. An underground tank can also be a hindrance to selling your home, as many homebuyers are not willing to take on the possible liabilities inherent with an abandoned underground tank. Mortgage companies, as well, are increasingly rejecting loans to buyers wishing to purchase a property on which there is an abandoned tank. Therefore, ERC recommends removing any unused or damaged tanks from your residential property.

How do I know if my soil is contaminated enough to need to be remediated?

ERC works in accordance with all state and federal guidelines for soil and groundwater remediation. All oil tank leaks must be reported to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection who makes decisions surrounding contamination and removal based on current state regulations. According to the NJDEP, the soil must be remediated or removed if the levels of extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH) are above 5100 parts per million (ppm). ERC will test the soil for you in order to determine the safest method with which to proceed.

Will my homeowner’s insurance help with the cost of remediation and removal?

While different insurance companies have different guidelines regarding soil remediation and removal, ERC will contact your provider to supply the necessary information in order for them to make a determination regarding your coverage. Each individual policy contains language which will determine if there is coverage for the cleanup of contamination from leaking underground storage tanks on a residential property. ERC will work in conjunction with your insurance provider every step of the way.

Will ERC get rid of the oil tank upon it’s removal?

Yes. Once removed, ERC will ensure that the insurance company has completed any and all inspections of the tank, and then will take care of the safe disposal as per NJDEP guidelines.

I imagine that the removal of the oil tank will ruin my yard. At the end of the job, will ERC just take their equipment and leave me with a mess in my yard?

At the beginning of the project, ERC will take precautions to remove and preserve shrubs and bushes in the area in need of remediation. While the testing and excavation proceed, ERC will continually work to ensure the least amount of disruption to your property. When the work is complete, ERC will restore your property, by back-filling the land to rough grade quality, meaning we will smooth out the large piles of dirt, fill in holes with clean soil, and haul away debris from the site.

How long does oil tank removal and replacement take?

This is not a lengthy job. In fact, with our crews of 3-5 men, we’ll be able to remove your existing tank and install your new one in a matter of hours.

New oil tank installation (3-5 hours)

If you’re installing a new, above-ground tank, this will take place before your old tank is removed, so you won’t experience any interruption to heat or hot water. Most new tanks are located in the basement, garage or in an outside area, as dictated by the homeowner on the contractor’s recommendations.

Oil tank removal (3-4 hours)

In under four hours most oil tanks can be removed and the area restored to its original conditions. Pump trucks will arrive to remove fuel from the tank, capturing oil within the vehicle’s containment system. The tank will be dug out, using a backhoe if possible. If hand-digging is required it will take an extra couple of hours. Once the tank is uncovered a hole is cut in the top so the interior can be cleaned before it is removed from the ground.

Will I have access to heat and hot water?

At ERC Environmental we understand the inconvenience of running a household without heat and hot water, which is why we ensure there is no interruption during our work. We hook up your new tank before removing your old for this reason, and even if installation and removal occur on different days, you’ll still have no downtime.

What about the old tank and remaining fuel?

In most cases the old tank will be removed from your property on the same day and transported to a state-licensed salvage facility. Any fuel from the old tank is transferred to the new – however the 30 or 40 gallons at the bottom will be caked in sludge which is harmful to the new tank. This will be transferred to a recycling facility.

Need an oil tank removing? We take care of the whole process, leaving you worry-free, and our entire service is included in the one-off fixed fee. No hidden extras or costly charges guaranteed.

What is oil tank abandonment

Oil tank abandonment is an alternative to removal. While it will minimize the amount of restoration needed, it is actually more cost-effective to simply remove the tank. Abandoning the tank means you will have to ensure soil testing is complete and analyzed by a certified laboratory, otherwise questions will arise as to whether it was completed properly. This can cause problems if you try and sell your home in the future.

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