Residential Underground Oil Tanks

The Fire Prevention Division conducts inspections of the removal of residential underground oil tanks.

Residential Underground Oil Tanks

Underground oil tanks can have detrimental impacts to the environment and your property if not properly maintained. Learn about the permits required and what you need to maintain or remove your underground oil tank below:

The average life span of an underground oil tank is 15 – 25 years. Old tanks can corrode and begin to leak hazardous materials into the environment. A small leak can have far-reaching impacts. Contamination of the soil and groundwater can occur and even pose a fire and explosion hazard under certain conditions. The impact of a leak may violate local, provincial or federal laws and result in fines. Clean-up can be complicated in replacing an oil tank and supply lines, and in removing the contaminated soil. It could even require replacing part of your home’s foundation and/or treating groundwater. 

The BC Fire Code (Section states that the removal, abandonment in place, disposal or temporary taking out of service of an underground storage tank shall be in conformance with good engineering practice. The BC Fire Code also states that the owner or owner’s authorized agent is responsible for carrying out the provisions of the Code.

All leaks and risks of leakage must be reported to both the Victoria Fire Department (see contact information below) and the Province’s Environmental Emergency Program (EEP) at 1.800.663.3456.

When the removal of your oil tank has been completed, it is important to obtain a final report from your contractor or registered engineer, and keep a copy for your own records. You may need them to renew your home insurance or file a claim, or if you sell your property or require home financing.

To check the property database at the Victoria Fire Department for oil tank information for a specific property, complete an Oil Tank Information Search Consent Form, and submit it with the fee to City Hall at 1 Centennial Square, or to the Victoria Fire Department at 1234 Yates Street. Allow a minimum of two business days for processing.

Contact Us

For more information on residential oil tanks, to obtain a permit to remove an underground oil tank, or to request a search of the property database for oil tank information, please contact the Victoria Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division at 250.920.3360 or email us.