Accidents happen, and domestic oil spills can occur unexpectedly, causing stress and potential environmental damage. Whether it’s a small leak or a large oil spill, knowing how to handle the situation is essential in protecting the environment. In this comprehensive how-to guide, I provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to respond to domestic oil spills.
If you should discover that your domestic oil tank is leaking. It is essential that you take immediate action, call Andrew on 07434 691 809 for immediate response in Northern Ireland.
How Do I Know if my Heating Oil is Leaking?
Detecting an oil leak early is crucial to prevent an oil spill. How can I determine if my heating oil tank is leaking?
- If you notice a strong smell of heating oil around your oil tank or heating system, it could be an indication of an oil spill.
- Look out for any changes in the colour of your grass or if any plants that are near your oil tank have died suddenly. Kerosene is toxic and will kill all plant life in its path.
- On average, most households will fill their oil tank once or twice per year. If you start noticing an increase in the amount of heating oil you are using, it could be a sign of a potential leak and should be investigated further.
- If your oil tank is faulty or damaged, you will typically observe dark discolouration surrounding the damaged area. This can be in the form of a small crack or hole, and there may also be noticeable staining on the concrete base.
How to Deal with Domestic Oil Spills
If you have discovered an oil spill, you must contact professionals who specialise with oil spill cleanup. Search for a company in your area who specialises in cleaning up oil spills. Keyword search phrases include, oil spill clean up [your town], oil spill remediation [your town], oil spill response [your town]. Alternatively call Andrew at Removerr on 07434 691 809. The severity of the oil spill will determine the appropriate course of action.
Minor Oil Spills
In the case of minor oil spills or leaks, a heating engineer or an oil tank replacement company can assist in transferring the heating oil into a holding tank. A holding tank is a spare tank used for storing the oil and restoring heat to your home.
Once the oil leak has been resolved, a new oil tank can be purchased and once installed and connected. The heating oil in the holding tank can be transferred into the new tank.
Oil tanks are considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of at a licensed waste facility, capable of handling hazardous waste. Consignment numbers purchased from the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency are used to track the movement of hazardous waste across NI.
Related: Oil Tank Removal Northern Ireland
Severe Oil Spills
What qualifies as a severe oil spill? For instance, if an oil tank were to leak for an extended period, leading to the release of several hundred litres of oil into the soil and groundwater, it would be considered a severe oil spill. In such circumstances, it is crucial to contact a specialised oil spill cleanup contractor. They would conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine the extent of the damage and track the spread of the oil. In the case of a major oil spill, it is essential to notify your insurance company who may have an emergency oil spill contractor in your area.
If the cause of the leak is still ongoing, in the case of a leaking oil tank, then an emergency response contractor would attend. Similar to a minor leak, the remaining stored oil would be transferred into a holding container to stop further environmental damage. Containment areas would be set up with natural absorbent materials to stop the spread of oil.
Who is Responsible for Cleaning Up an Oil Spill?
Anyone involved in using and storing of hazardous substances, including heating oil, is responsible for ensuring that these substances are securely contained and used in a manner that prevents environmental pollution. It is the homeowners responsibility to correct any cleanup of oil spills that occur.
Homeowners who have heating oil stored on their property should contact their insurance provider to ensure they are insured in the event of an oil spill. Typically, home insurance policies will cover the expenses associated with an oil spill. The costs incurred from a domestic oil spill can vary depending on the severity, ranging from several hundred to several thousand pounds.
Oil Spill Response Northern Ireland
Domestic oil spills primarily occur on residential properties and mainly involve oil tanks, fuel tanks, and heating boilers. The main goal when an oil spill happens is to minimise the environmental impact and protect human health. The initial step is to report the oil spill and prevent the oil from spreading. Once the oil spill is contained, the next objective is to clean up the affected area by utilising various techniques to remove the oil.
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