Winter Tank Checks

Oil contaminated soil being removed from inside a home

It’s the time of year when a delivery of oil to your tank can be urgent. But you need to make sure your delivery doesn’t cost you and the environment dearly.

We recommend you check your oil tank before you place an order. This will help you protect the environment and reduce the risk of large financial losses and clean-up costs.

Go out and walk around your tank, look for possible problems; our regular checks guide will help.

Try to be at home or on site during the delivery, you can make sure your tank isn’t overfilled and you will be on hand to help if there’s a problem.

Environment Agency Officer Alison Hyman said:

‘Heating oil can cause serious problems if it gets into the environment. It can pollute rivers, harm wildlife and contaminate ground and drinking water. But it’s not just the cost of losing the oil that can be expensive, clean up costs can be large and are not always covered by household insurance policies.

This is why it is vital that oil is only ever stored in tanks that are in good condition. Both the tank and pipe work should be regularly inspected and people should never buy more oil than they can safely store.’

If your tank starts leaking after it’s been filled you need to take action.

  • Try to stop the flow of oil, for example turn off valves.
  • Try to stop the oil soaking into the ground or going down drains.
  • Contact your insurance company and oil delivery company to arrange for the oil to be cleaned up.
  • Report the spill on 0800 80 70 60, lines are open 24 hours, calls are free from land lines but there may be a charge if you’re using a mobile.
  • Our ‘Dealing with spills’ guide has more tips.