Leaking Fuel Oil Tanks - Avoiding Costly Problems With Oil Spills and Leakage


Article by: Gil Strachan

The Dangers

A leaking fuel oil tank can become a serious fire , Stylish Comfort: Modern Sofa Trends and environmental , Unwelcome Guests: Fire Ant; Part II Insects & Insecticides hazard. Whether the tank is located inside , Bedding is Fashion for the Bed or outside , Bedding is Fashion for the Bed the home, , Honda's Newest Portable Generators a spill can contaminate groundwater affecting private wells or other nearby drinking water , Furniture slipcovers are a simple and easy make over for any room. supplies.

One cup of fuel oil can contaminate enough water , When is it time to buy a new bed? to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool, and in many cases hundreds of litres of oil seep into the ground before a spill is discovered.

Fuel oil that has spilled into a residential basement , 11 Tips for Stripping Wallpaper: How to Get Rid of Ugly Wallpaper! can also pose a serious health hazard, threatening indoor air , Little Giant Ladder A Complete Guide To Working With One quality.

Anyone who owns a fuel oil tank has a legal responsibility to properly maintain it and to clean up any spills or leaks that may occur. Homeowners are also responsible under the Environmental , Bedding is Fashion for the Bed Protection Act for reporting any leak or spill from a tank that could cause property , The Best Quilts, Quilt Patterns and Quilt Fabrics damage or health, safety , Sheetrockers Secrets or environmental , Clean Your Gutters for Spring problems.

Cleaning up a spill from a home , Improvements - Questions and Answers heating oil tank is an expensive exercise. The removal of oil from a basement, , Laminate Wood Flooring and the Benefits over Traditional Wood & Ceramic Tile or the cleanup of contaminated soil , Mold 101 and water , Purifiers And Activated Carbon: Adsorb Or Adsorb? can often cost more than the property , Mold 101 is worth, and damage may not be fully covered by the homeowner's insurance.

Avoiding Problems

Having a tank installed only by a registered contractor , Furniture slipcovers are a simple and easy make over for any room. and inspecting it regularly can help avoid the problems associated with oil spills and leakage.

Homeowners are required to ensure their tanks are CSA or ULC approved, properly installed and accessible for inspection.

Taking the following steps can help avoid problems and ensure safe , Hot Tubs Create a Backyard Oasis usage of a fuel oil tank.

* Inspect tank at least once a year.

* Replace tank periodically.

* Empty any unused tanks

Inspecting an oil tank Typical 1000 litre fuel oil tank

1. Are the tank legs unstable or on a shaky foundation?

2. Are there any signs of rust, weeping, wet spots or dents on the tank?

3. Is the tank blackened at the low end, around the drain? (This may be an indication of water , Vinyl Replacement Window Terminology in the tank, and resultant corrosion inside , How To Clean Laminate Floors the tank.

4. Are there any drips or signs of leakage around the fuel line, filter or valves?

5. Is there danger of snow , Water Purifiers And Activated Carbon: Adsorb Or Adsorb? or ice falling on the tank?

6. Is the vent clogged or restricted because of snow, , Spring Home Projects in Northern New England ice or insect nests? (Screened vents can help prevent insect nest problems.)

7. Is the vent whistle silent when the tank is being filled? (Ask the fuel delivery person.)

8. Are there signs of leakage or spills around the fill pipe or vent pipe?

9. Is the fuel-level gauge cracked, stuck or frozen? Are there signs of oil around it?

10. If mounted outdoors, , Little Giant Ladder A Complete Guide To Working With One is the tank rated for outdoor , The Best Way to Clean a Granite Countertop - Inexpensively use?

11. What is the age of the tank? (Not usually indicated until after 1998.)


  • More than 40% of all oil spills reported annually are from domestic , Handel Lamp History oil tanks at private homes. , Sheetrockers Secrets

  • One cup of fuel oil can contaminate enough water , Unwelcome Guests: Fire Ant; Part II Insects & Insecticides to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool.

  • Homeowner insurance may not cover all costs of a cleanup.

  • Cleanup of contaminated soil , Choosing the Perfect Window Blinds, Vertical Blinds, or Wood Blinds for Your Home and water , My New House Homepage.com - Start-up online pixel advertising website targeted to homeowners can often cost more than a property , My New House Homepage.com - Start-up online pixel advertising website targeted to homeowners is worth.

Handling spills and leaks

Homeowners should take the following steps as soon as a spill or leak is discovered.

a.) Eliminate all sources of ignition.

b.) Stop the leak, if it can be done without risk.

c.) Contact fuel oil supplier or heating contractor , Mattress Selection - A Practical Approach for assistance.

d.) Contain spilled oil using whatever materials are available (pails, rags, newspapers, peat moss, kitty litter, absorbant pads, sheets of plastic, , The Best Way to Clean a Granite Countertop - Inexpensively etc.) Do not flush spilled oil or contaminated materials down the floor , Types Of Wood ing drain or sewer, nor into a septic system.

e.) Notify the Ontario Ministry of the Environment , Electrical Test and Tag Frequently Asked Questions Spills Action Centre (SAC) if the spill causes or is likely to cause, adverse effects such as ground or surface water , Electrical Test and Tag Frequently Asked Questions contamination, or damage to a neighbor's property. , Parquet Floors Made Easy SAC provides 24-hour assistance for spill situations.

f.) Transfer any remaining oil from the leaking tank to a sound tank or other approved container, made of leak-proof material, such as a 45 gallon drum.

g.) Clean up spilled oil and any contaminated soild or materials and place , Get Creative with Designs for Small Kitchen Spaces in appropriate containers such as plastic , Handel Lamp History pails and sturdy garbage bags. For large spills, a professional cleanup contractor , Mattress Selection - A Practical Approach may be required.

h.) Properly dispose of any recovered oil, contaminated soil , Bathroom Mirrors; The Perfect Ensemble and other contaminated materials and containers. Municipal works departments and the Ministry of the Environment , Pressure Washer Reviews can provide information , Vinyl Replacement Window Terminology on acceptable waste management practices.

i.) Homeowners should contact their insurance agent as soon as possible.

New regulations

When fully implemented, newly amended provincial regulations , How to choose a mattress? will ensure that fuel oil tanks are installed and inspected by licensed , Arch Window Treatments for Half and Quarter Circle Windows persons and tanks are replaced periodicall depending upon tank design. , Home Improvements - Questions and Answers

Containment systems

Affordable and effective secondary containment to protect against leaking fuel oil tanks is available in the form of ULC approved geo-membrane bags, such as the S.Bag - a sort of oil tank diaper that will contain any spills during tank re-fuelling or from leaks.

Visit www.sbag.web.com to learn more about secondary containment retrofits.
Visit www.roth-canada.com to learn about double-wall heating oil storage tanks.
Visit www.tanktub.com to view decorative double-wall containment tubs.

For more information , Pressure Washer Reviews on residential fuel oil tanks and Ontario laws governing them, please contact:

Technical Standards and Safety , Modular Homes Misconceptions and Myths Authority (TSSA)
Fuels Safety , Home Improvements - Questions and Answers Division
3300 Bloor St. W.
4th Floor, , Parquet s Made Easy West Tower
Toronto, ON M8X 2X4
(416) 325-1615

To report spills or to obtain more information , Sheetrockers Secrets on spill cleanup procedures, please contact:

Ministry of the Environment
Spills Action Centre (SAC)
1-800-268-6060 (24-hours)
or (416) 325-3500

In other provinces, check the government listings in the local , Parquet Floors Made Easy telephone directory to locate the appropriate department. To obtain immediate assistance, contact your fuel supplier or heating contractor, , Little Giant Ladder A Complete Guide To Working With One or a licensed , Honda's Newest Portable Generators professional cleanup service.
Copyright Gil Strachan - All rights reserved.

Gil Strachan is a professional home , Sheetrockers Secrets inspector, representing Electrospec Home , Improvements – The Fun Stuff Inspection Services in east-central Ontario, Canada since 1994. Visit http://www.allaroundthehouse.com to learn more about home , Spring Projects in Northern New England inspections.

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