Friday, 11 September 2015

Prevent pollution this winter: check your oil tank!

So you're already a champion recycler, you take care to turn the lights out before leaving every room and you cycle to work whenever you can. What else can you do to protect the planet? By taking care to check your oil tank this winter you're not only helping to defend the environment against the damaging effects of oil leaks on local ecosystems but also guarding yourself against what could potentially be large financial losses.

Moving from drains directly into rivers, streams, lakes and even garden ponds, leaked oil quickly enters the watercourse, where it has a catastrophic effect on wildlife, poisoning fish and other creatures and smothering plants. In fact, such is the destructive power of oil, just 2 litres of it could seriously pollute the volume of fresh water needed to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool!

J
amie Fairfull, Senior Environmental Officer at the Environment Agency commented, "Heating oil can cause serious problems if it gets into the environment. 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 pipework should be regularly inspected and people should never buy more oil than they can safely store."


Ensure your oil tank is safe to use and avoid the financial and environmental costs of oil leaks by following the below checklist:
•Locate tanks as far away as possible from drains, streams and ponds. With the ability to be located up against or even inside buildings, Tuffa Fire Protected Oil Tanks make this easy.
•Inspect tanks, pipes and other equipment for leaks, damage and interference once a week. Any problems should be fixed as soon as possible by an installation business competent in oil fired installation work. This should include any underground pipework.
•Monitor how much oil your tank uses. If the oil usage suddenly increases then there could be a leak.
•Supervise oil deliveries to ensure that your tank is not overfilled. You should also remember not to order more oil than you can safely store.
•Check that your home insurance covers clean-up costs on both your property and the neighbouring land. Be sure to always notify insurers immediately in the event of a spill or a suspected spill.
•If your tank starts leaking, try to stop the oil soaking into the ground or going down the drains. Contact an installation business competent in oil fired installation work or your insurance company to arrange for them or a UK-spill accredited clean up company to come out. Visit www.ukspill.org.
•Secondary containment (such as a bund) will prevent oil from leaking into the environment if a leak occurs. This is a legal requirement for domestic tanks which store more than 3,500 Litres.
•To report an oil leak or a spill, contact the Environment Agency's 24 hour emergency hotline on 0800 807060.

1 comment:

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