Oil is dangerous to the natural habitat and the wildlife around
us. Once an oil spill occurs it is difficult to clean up and will contaminate
the water surface and underground.
The ground water provides 75% of the South West’s public
water supply and is very vulnerable to contamination as it can travel over a
huge distance very rapidly.
Oil spill happen more often than you think in our counties
and can be very difficult and costly to clean up.
It’s common sense to have suitable insurance in place when
you are heating your property with domestic oil heating stored in an Oil tank.
If you are not sure if you are covered, we would advise you to check with your
insurance company. The policy should have a high enough liability limit to
cover you if neighbouring land and/or bore holes are affected. As you are
required to clean up an oil spill under the water resource act 1191, it will be
advisable to check your policy if the clean up on your own property is covered
Prevent it is better than curing it, it can take months even
years to clean up a large oil spill it will cost you hundreds of thousands of
pounds. Here are some tips to prevent a possible oil spill:
Install a Bunded tank, this is a tank within a
tank, when the inner bund leaks the outer bund will catch the leaking oil and
preventing this spilling into the ground. When you are installing a new tank
make sure that the technician or company are OFTEC registered and sign off a
If you live near drains/river/stream or any
resource of water, make sure that the tank (even a bunded) is installed at
least 10 meters away from it and at least 50 metres from a borehole. If you are
unaware you can always call Tank Services and ask us to carry out an assessment
Are you aware of any underground pipe work? Do
you know where it runs? Make sure you do before you have any work done in and
around your house to prevent damage to the pipe work above and underground.
A yearly tank service is highly recommended by
OFTEC and the tank manufacturers.
The technician should check on
-Signs of corrosion, bulging, damage or any
signs of leaks
-Pipe work, gauges, valves, filters
-Water in the tank
-Tank Services will provide you with a
passport and record every inspection.
Regularly check the tank and your oil level your
Supervise every oil delivery
Ensure the stop tap is working
Unfortunately, in some cases oil leaks will occur, you might
smell the oil in the air, see oil patches or you can see the tank splitting and
dripping. If this is the case stop what you are doing and act;
Contain the leak if you can, put a bucket/bowl
under the leak. If the plastic tank has split use an old bar of soap and rub
that into the tank this will seal it temporarily.
Stop the flow at source
Prevent spilled oil from spreading, particularly
into drains and water sources. Use dry sand or a spill
kit to absorb the oil.
Call Tank Services on 01722 714514 or your local
OFTEC registered company or your oil delivery company to remove any remaining
oil into a holding tank. They will also be able to assess the situation and
advise you if the Environment Agency needs to be informed
Contact your insurance company to advise them
that there is a leak.
Don’t use any detergents or soaps to clean up
Don’t hose down the oil, try to absorb it
Keep children and pets away
It’s advisable to keep a record of the actions
you have taken