Her drug of choice is diesel….

Petroleum Sniffing Pooch Part of the Team at Echo Tech

Meet Terra (as in ‘firma’), the only pup in the nation with a super sniffer attuned to all things petroleum. Part of the team at Eco Tech, I met this darling yellow lab during a tank sweep in SW Portland this past week.B Turning 4 years-old in a few days, she’s the perfect combination of hard working & smart.B But wait a minute…tank sweep?
During the inspection period of a home purchase when the home’s heat source is natural gas, it can be part of a buyers due diligence to look into the possibility of an oil tank out of use but still on the property.

  • Portland Maps has some old permits on file showing an oil tank installed at one point in time. Sometimes it’s found under the ‘historic permits’ tab.
  • If not, I usually ask the technicians at Eco Tech to look into it further from their end for anyB oil tank info they can find.
  • If there is an old oil tank on the property, the next step is to verify that it was decommissioned to DEQ standards. If it has not been properly decommissioned and certified, then this becomes part of the repair addendum/negotiation.
  • If there is no indication of an oil tank in the basement or outside the home and noting is popping up on record, a buyer may choose to have the property swept for the tank just to be sure. Many choose not to at this point.

When I order the sweep from Eco Tech,B the utility companies come and mark the property for communication, gas & water lines. Then a technician, in this case Tony–Terra’s handler, begins the sweep. Terra is used to speed the process up & to double check hard to reach spots. On this particular day, Tony swept the property and Terra did her thing too. She did indicate something and it turned out to not be an oil tank so the property got the all clear.
Trained by the same woman who has trained all the Oregon State Police bomb & drug dogs, Terra has been rigorously prepared. She just happens to have a nose that knows petroleum. Her reward for a good job? Play time! And at the end of the day…she leaves her job and returns home to the Francis family. Don is the founder and General Manager of Eco Tech and Terra gets all the love a dog could want at the end of each day with the family. Mighty dog by day, lap dog by night.B Good girl Terra!
Eco Tech is a local Portland-based company that handles a wide range of testing and remediation for oil tanks, radon, earthquake retro fitting & septic tanks.

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