What should you do if you discover a leaking oil tank on your property? Don’t panic, even the worst oil spills can be rectified. Unfortunately single skin oil tanks that are over 10 years old are prone to leaking. Did you know that there are approximately 3000 oil spills each year in the UK.
How to deal with a leaking oil tank, follow the step by step guide below.
Table of Contents
- Isolate the Supply of Oil
- Stop or Slow the Oil Leak
- Draining The Oil Tank
- Oil Spill Cleanup
- Leaking Oil Tank Tips
- Oil Spill Response Locations
Isolate the Supply of Oil
The first thing to do if your oil tank is leaking is to switch off your boiler and using the isolate valve at the bottom of the oil tank, turn off the oil. If oil is leaking from a damaged fuel line, by isolating the flow of oil from the tank to the boiler will stop the leak. If there’s a strong smell of oil in your home, ventilate the area by opening windows. Keep pets and children away from the oil spill.
Stop or Slow the Oil Leak
In most cases the oil leak will be coming from a split/hole in the plastic/metal oil tank. Using a torch thoroughly inspect the oil tank for leaks. There will normally be a very strong smell of oil close by the source of the leak. If you can see where the oil is escaping from, use a bar of soap to rub over the crack/hole, this will temporally stop the flow of oil.
Avoid using, silicone, glue or tape, none of these will work to stop the leak. If you are unable to see where the tank is leaking from or the leak is inaccessible, then the next course of action is seek professional help.
Oil Spill Cleanup Northern Ireland 07434 691 809
Draining The Oil Tank
Once the oil tank has been identified as damaged, the heating oil must be pumped from the damaged oil tank into a holding tank. Transferring heating oil from one tank to another is achieved using a fuel transfer pump which can move oil at a rate of 40 litre per minute. After the oil has been transferred into the holding tank, no further environmental damage can occur.
Oil Spill Cleanup
Depending on amount of oil that has escaped from the tank will determine the extent of the damage. Try to work out how much oil has been lost. Never attempt to wash the oil away, as this will only spread the area of contamination. Unfortunately when the ground has been affected by an oil spill, (kerosene) in most cases the affected area must be excavated to remove the contaminated soil.
Check your home insurance policy to see if you’re covered for cleaning up an oil leak or spill. Pollution and contamination incidents can sometimes be excluded or have financial limits and restrictions.
Your insurance provider may appoint a specialist oil spill contractor to survey the extent of the damage. Removerr has partnered with several companies across Northern Ireland offering a complete solution to oil tank removal and oil spill remediation.
Leaking Oil Tank Tips
- A strong smell of oil can be the first indicator of an oil leak
- Contact your insurance company immediately in the event of an expected leaking oil tank
- Oil tanks older than 10 years should be replaced or inspected yearly
- If you suspect your oil tank needs replaced, fill to a max of 50% full, until a new tank is fitted
- Sand and cat litter have excellent absorbent properties and can help to limit the spread of oil from an oil spill
- Oil tanks and there contents are classed as hazardous waste
Oil Spill Response Locations
Antrim, Bangor, Belfast, Ballymena, Banbridge, Carrickfergus, Craigavon, Donaghadee, Dundonald, Dunmurry, Downpatrick, Holywood, Hillsborough, Larne, Lurgan, Londonderry, Magherafelt, Newtownards, Newtownabbey, Newcastle, Newry. Contact Andrew on 07434 691 809 or email email@example.com.