Oil Tank Removal, Cleaning, and Decommissioning

A Must Read for Homeowners

Our goal is to provide unparalleled service to our customers in the oil tank removal and decommissioning industry. Countless times we have been reminded by our customers how impressed they are with our attention to detail in all phases of the job, from the excavation, pumping of the contents in the oil tank to the backfill and completion of the job. And when complete we leave, the grounds look as good as or better than when we started. We are proud to be in the oil tank removal business and are frequently recommended by both homeowners and professionals in the industry. Since 1990, we have developed a reputation for hard work with integrity. We strive to maintain that reputation and are committed to keeping your investment our top priority.

To assure our customers that we keep that commitment, we carry both environmental impairment
and comprehensive general liability insurance. We also maintain WSBC coverage. We have an A+
rating with the Better Business Bureau and are members of the B.C.A.O.M.A. (British Columbia Apartment Owners and Managers Association).We are a family run business, committed to protecting the interests of our clients. It gives us great pride and satisfaction, knowing our experience and advice has helped so many in the past. We would love the opportunity to do the same for others in the future. Having removed over 4,000 oil tanks in our history, we have the experience to make your Underground Storage Tank removal a success.

Call for a complimentary, no obligation quote today.
We welcome all questions and comments via telephone, email or contact us here.

Underground Storage Tank Decommissioning
(Oil Tank Decommissioning)

There are typically two options for the decommissioning of an underground storage tank (UST) or
(oil tank). The first is to have it filled in place. A “fill in place” is only accepted in situations where it
is unsafe or impractical to remove the UST (i.e. the integrity of the building would be jeopardized).

The second and most desired option is to remove the oil tank completely. With this option, the tank
would be dealt with permanently, leaving no red flags on the property. Once the oil tank has been
dealt with appropriately, AWS would supply a certificate of decommissioning complete with all
associated paperwork.

Occasionally, oil contamination is discovered in the soil surrounding the UST. AWS has the
equipment and experience to efficiently remove the contaminated soil, and deal with all aspects of
the remediation process.


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“We wish to thank you on the completion of our oil tank removal. The work was done to our satisfaction and your crew, especially Neil and Cliff, the Supervisor, were prompt kept us informed as to what was happening and completed the work as promised. Again, we thank you.

Ron and Irene McMillan


What is an oil tank and why is it buried in my backyard?

Oil tanks are a fact of life for many homeowners in the metro Vancouver area. While they were a necessity for many, even up to the 1970’s, they have since been replaced by natural gas or electric heat. These steel tanks, in many municipalities were required to be buried for fire protection reasons. They were filled with heating oil and supplied fuel for furnaces. They are now aging and becoming financial and environmental risks in peoples’ front or back yards. If you live in a home in the metro Vancouver area that is more than thirty years old, there is a good chance that there was or is an oil tank on the property. In the last 3-5 of our 22 years in business, we have seen a marked increase in the number of oil contaminated sites due to the decomposing through electrolysis and rusting of these steel tanks.

What can one do to minimize the damaging effects?

PUMP IT OUT! One of the the first steps in the decommissioning of an oil tank is to have the contents removed. If there is oil in the tank, there is still a chance the oil may leak into the soil around the tank, making for a very expensive clean up. Call Advantage and arrange a complimentary site assessment. We will offer advice, discussing possible solutions and educating you on what you need to do. We can use water/oil detection paste and “dip” your tank to check for the oil and water levels. If there is no water it is a good sign that your tank may not have leaked. If oil is found in the tank, we strongly recommend that you have it pumped out right away to avoid the potential of leakage. Often customers mention that they had the tank pumped out previously, or used up the oil in the furnace before ceasing to use it. In either case, there is a good chance a substantial amount of oil remains in the bottom of the tank.

Who is qualified to remove an Oil Tank?

There are many oil tank removal companies in the Metro Vancouver area that specialize in this field. When choosing a tank contractor a homeowner should always look at these points carefully.

  • How many years have they been in this business?
  • Are they BBB accredited?
  • Are they recommended by a professional?
  • Are they properly insured? This means Work Safe BC, Environmental impairment insurance, General Liability etc. The environmental impairment is very expensive and some contractors don’t carry it!
  • Does the quote seem reasonable and competitive?
  • Look at the contract paying special attention to contamination removal costs. Be sure that it seems reasonable and competitive. Occasionally, companies “roll the dice”, hoping for a contaminated job, getting their foot in the door with a low initial quote. They present the unsuspecting homeowner with high contaminated soil removal costs.

Why is it so expensive?

The costs of oil tank removals are affected by many factors: wages, insurance, equipment,
transportation to and from the job, pump out costs, disposal costs, backfill costs, fuel costs.
Contaminated soil removal adds extra costs: soil analysis, environmental consulting, soil disposal.

Do I need to hire an environmental consultant?

This depends on a number of factors: Does your municipality require one to be involved? Is your
site contaminated? Is your site a commercial or residential property? An AWS rep will be happy to
assist you with these questions and recommend a consultant should you require one, or we
welcome you to hire one on your own (The latter is occasionally less cost effective).

We are a family run business, committed to protecting the interests of our clients. It gives us great
pride and satisfaction, knowing our experience and advice has helped so many in the past. We
would love the opportunity to do the same for others in the future.

We welcome all questions and comments via telephone, email or contact us here.

Municipal Requirements

Each municipality in the GVRD and Fraser valley have their own specific requirements for the proper
removal of underground and aboveground oil storage tanks (u.s.t. and a.s.t.’s). Reading the information
stated on the following links will help to inform homeowners of the requirements set out by their
governing municipality for the decommissioning of oil tanks. If your municipality is not listed in the
following links, a phone call to your local city hall or NON emergency fire department number will put
you in touch with the information available. The needs of each u.s.t. decommissioning are unique and
differ from city to city, having an Advantage representative clarify these needs in a site visit will save you
time and money on your oil tank removal.

Ministry of Environment Links

Ministry of Environment Residential Heating Oil Storage Tanks

Ministry of Environment Remediation Liability

Links to Municipal Requirements

West Vancouver



Port Moody





White Rock City


New Westminster