Heating oil, a refined petroleum product also known as No. 2 fuel oil, was a popular home heating source in Carrboro for decades until other energy sources became more popular later in the 20th century. The tanks that stored the oil were either above or below ground. As these systems were replaced, often the underground tanks were removed or properly abandoned, but on occasion, they haven't been. The remaining oil can escape (or could have escaped), resulting in a serious environmental and public health risk.
It's important for Carrboro homeowners with older homes especially to understand the issues and potential and significant personal and community liability around legacy underground tanks, and proactively address these issues. The following links are intended to help residents do so:
The State Division of Waste Management Underground Storage Tank Section Raleigh Regional Office serves Carrboro and regulates these tanks, and is a good point of contact.
They have created an FAQ page along with a flowchart to provide clear information on the regulation of these tanks and their proper abandonment.
Mecklenburg County also has good information, including how to know if your home has or has had a home heating oil underground storage tank, and what to do in the event this is true.
The maps provided below show properties that have been identified (from State UST data and older [pre 1975] buildings) as being at higher risk for potential home heating oil spills. These properties are shown in green.
Maps of Underground Storage Tanks Incidents and Risks