Oil tanks-permits for installations and removals

Home heating oil tanks can fail, leading to oil spills in creeks, harbours, shorelines and natural drinking water sources, causing potential health risks or environmental damage that is costly to residents. Once spilled, rain and irrigation water carries oil through the soil into residential perimeter drains and the surrounding environment. Perimeter drains can quickly carry oil into the storm drain systems, which empty directly into creeks, harbours and shorelines. Learn more in CRD's Homeowner's Guide: Home Heating Oil Tanks

The installation, removal or replacement of oil tanks and related oil burning equipment is governed by the BC Building Code.  Underground storage tanks together with connected piping and dispensers must be removed from the ground, if at all possible, once they are of no further use or have been out of service for two years.  A permit to remove, replace or install oil tanks is required prior to work commencing. 

A permit application can be obtained from the Fire Department or downloaded as a pdf.

There is a charge of $50 (payable at the Municipal Hall) for each permit.

  1. Obtain a copy of the permit form and fill in Part A.
  2. Visit Esquimalt Municipal Hall (finance department) and pay the permit fee.
  3. Bring the permit form and proof of payment to the Esquimalt Fire Hall.
  4. The permit application (Part A) will be reviewed and signed by an officer on duty.
  5. Work may then be undertaken.
  6. Once the work is done, contact the fire department to arrange to have the work reviewed for compliance.
  7. Once the review is completed the form (Part B) will be signed off.  The original form remains with the fire department however a copy can be provided upon request of the permit holder.

Where the fire inspector determines that it is impractical to remove an underground storage tank, the fire inspector may authorize that  the tank be exposed, cut open and cleaned.  This work shall be viewed by the fire inspector prior to it being filled with an inert material and covered again.

If there is any questions as to the procedure to be followed in a particular case, the on duty fire inspector should be contacted for clarification at 250-414-7126.