In the event of a home heating oil spill, prompt remediation action by property owners can mitigate environmental and third-party property damage and also help reduce remediation costs.
The approach to adopt in dealing with oil spills is site-specific, however, the following highlights essential actions that property owners should take following an oil spill:
- Identify the source of the oil leak, oil spill.
- Take immediate action to stop or minimise the spill if it is continuing i.e. shut off valves, right overturned tanks, collect oil in containers, etc.
- If an oil tank is leaking from a minor fracture, stem the flow by gently rubbing a bar of soap along the fracture/crack, but be careful not to exacerbate the problem. You can also sometimes use strong adhesive tape to temporarily repair the leak until help arrives.
- Place containers beneath the leak point.
- Take action to prevent the spill from entering sewers or streams and to minimise the area affected i.e. block drains, divert flow away from open waters or buildings by digging a trench or using sand bags or absorbent material.
- Spread absorbent materials i.e. sand, peat moss, newspaper over the surface of the spill, working from the perimeter of the spill to its centre.
- Place polythene over the contaminated sand, peat moss, etc to mitigate further ingress of water.
- Store oil absorbed material in plastic bags or heavy-duty polythene.
- Contact your fuel delivery company; they may be able to call out and remove the remaining oil from the tank.
- If the leak occurred inside the building from a boiler or range or is affecting the inside of the building i.e. oil odours, open the windows and keep the affected area as well ventilated as possible. Avoid touching heating oil with exposed skin and wear protective gloves and boots.
- Record the volume of oil lost and actions taken to restrict the spread of oil.
- Contact Verde Remediation Services Emergency Hotline immediately on 1890 20 10 20.
- Contact your Insurance Company.
- If the oil is likely to affect an aquifer (source of drinking water) or other watercourse, or if it has migrated off your property, you or your agents, working on your behalf, are obliged to report the spill to the Local Authority.
- Ignore the spill incident.
- Wash the spill away with water or other liquids, such as washing-up liquid or similar.
- Bury contaminated material.
- Allow liquids to flow into sewers, drainage systems or ditches.