New Regulations

If you are a owner of an underground oil tank, then a new regulation applies to you.

New regulations require that all underground tanks be registered with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) by May 2, 2002 or fuel oil will not be delivered to the tank.

Old underground tanks are very likely to leak. The leakage will contaminate soil and groundwater, and as a result, is an expensive environmental clean-up cost.

Underground tanks are required to be upgraded with specific leak and spill prevention equipment or removed. Upgrading requirements for underground tanks depend on the age of the tank as indicated below:

Age (Years from Date of Installation) Date (Required for Removal/Upgrade)
25 years or more or Unknown
October 1, 2006
October 1, 2007
October 1, 2008
October 1, 2009

Tanks that are 25 years and older, or unknown in age, and is not specially protected from corrosion are required to be removed by October 1, 2006.

Tanks with a storage capacity greater then 5,000 litres will need to be leak tested annually.

Unused tanks are required to be removed and any contamination cleaned.

Questions you asked:

What is an underground tank?
An underground oil tank is a container that is buried and contains fuel oil to be used in appliances, such as furnaces and boilers. Tanks that are in basements are not considered underground tanks.

How can I tell if my underground tank is leaking?
Because they are buried, it is difficult to tell if the tank is leaking. Some underground tanks may leak for years without the owners realizing it. If your oil consumption suddenly goes up, your tank may have a large leak.

What do I do if my underground tank is leaking?
Call a TSSA registered fuel oil contractor to help you find and stop the leak, and clean up any leaked fuel oil. You are also required to call the Spills Action Centre of the Ministry of Environment at 1-800-268-6060.

Who are TSSA Registered Contractors?
By law, all contractors working on fuel oil equipment such as underground tanks are required to be registered with TSSA Persons repairing, installing, removing and servicing fuel oil underground tanks are also required to be trained and certified as a Petroleum Equipment Mechanic 2.

How do I register my underground tank?
By completing the Underground Fuel Oil Application Form and returning it to TSSA, at which time, your tank will become registered. A registration number will be assigned to your tank that you can give to your fuel distributor to ensure uninterrupted fuel supply.

How do I remove my underground tank?
Underground tanks are required to be removed by a TSSA registered fuel oil contractor. When you call a contractor, as for the TSSA registration number. When an underground tank is removed, the soil around the tank must be assessed for contamination and all contamination cleaned.

I have an underground tank that I am no longer using?
Once an underground tank stops being used, or where it hasn't been used in two years, the underground tank is required to be removed and all contaminated soil cleaned.

Is there any government funds for homeowners upgrading or removing their underground tank? Unfortunately, there is not. Owners of underground tanks are responsible for the costs of maintaining, upgrading, removing and clean up of any soil contamination. Some fuel suppliers my have special financing programs to help you in replacing the underground tank with an aboveground tank.

Please contact us if you have any questions.