Underground Oil Tanks

How do you find a tank on my property?

Meadowvale inspectors scan the property using ground penetrating radar (GPR) – the most reliable and accurate instrument available for detecting the presence of underground oil storage tanks.  Details on how GPR can be used to locate an underground tank can be found in some of the FAQ’s lower on this page.
In addition to GPR, two additional pieces of equipment are used to assist in locating underground tanks:
  • A Magnetic Locator is a device which detects ferrous metals exclusively. It will not detect non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, brass or copper. The benefits of a ferrous metal locator is that it will not register ‘false positives’ caused by non-ferrous metals and will detect ferrous metals to a much greater depth than an all-metal detector. Depending on its mass, the magnetic locator will detect a ferrous metal target to a depth of 30 feet.  The detection range is greatly dependent on the mass and orientation of the target ranging from a couple of inches to several feet. Targets are limited to ferromagnetic materials—iron, steel and alloys.


  • An inductive Pipe Locator is a device which passes an alternating electric current to a pipe, creating a magnetic field around the pipe. An electromagnetic sensor above the ground detects the induced magnetic field and allows the operator to track the location and depth of the pipe under the ground.  This is particularly helpful when an oil fill line is present, but it can also work by inducing a current even if no direct connection to a pipe is possible.
These three pieces of equipment, when used by an experienced operator, enable the inspector to detect and locate underground oil storage tanks with a high degree of accuracy.