Underground Oil Tank Detection & Removal

NOTE: Effective January 1, 2018, the District of West Vancouver will no longer be involved in regulation of oil tanks. Individuals and developers will need to manage their own liability and exposure by following the BC provincial regulations for sites, found at this link.

Years ago, homes were often heated with heating oil, and many West Vancouver homes built between the 1920s and 1960s had fuel storage tanks buried close to their foundations. Fuel tanks are no longer in use, but homeowners may not know that a tank is on their property. Records indicate that more than 1,000 West Vancouver properties still have buried fuel tanks. If you have one, it is important that you have it removed.

Signs of a fuel tank

  • a filler pipe protruding from the ground
  • a vent pipe at the side of your house
  • a metal pipe cap close to your front or back yard
  • a sunken area on your lawn

Why you should remove an underground fuel tank

Underground fuel tanks present significant potential for environmental contamination. If a tank on your property leaks oil, you could be liable for damages. A fuel tank on your property can also complicate real estate transactions and may restrict your insurance coverage.

Steps to ensure your property is free of fuel tanks

  1. Check with West Vancouver Fire & Rescue to see if there are any reports registered to your property relating to fuel tanks by calling 604-925-7370 or by emailing the fire department at firedepartment@westvancouver.ca
  2. If no conclusive records exist, have your property surveyed by an environmental consultant. To locate a provider, search "fuel tank environmental consultant BC".
  3. If a scan confirms that no tank exists, you or your contractor can submit a metal detection certificate to the fire department to prepare a Fuel Storage Tank Closure Report, which states that your property has no fuel tank. It is optional to bring this information to Fire & Rescue to be registered in the inventory.
  4. If a fuel tank is located, you will need a permit to remove it. You will also need to hire a qualified environmental consultant or engineer to work alongside the professional oil tank contractor. Once the tank is removed, the environmental consultant will take soil samples to ensure it is not contaminated,
  5. Once a tank has been removed, provide copies of the oil tank removal documentation to Fire & Rescue and they will issue a final Fuel Storage Tank Closure Report. (Please allow 14 days).

Permit Fees

  • metal detection: $50.00
  • fuel tank removal: $300.00


Fire & Rescue Services