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Safe storage of heating oil - Taunton Deane Borough Council

Safe storage of heating oil - Taunton Deane Borough Council

Safe storage of heating oil - Taunton Deane Borough

PID Safe Storage of Heating Oil What to do to prevent an oil leak If you or someone you know has oil-fired central heating, this leaflet could help avoid the considerable costs and inconvenience of an oil leak. Leaked oil can be very difficult and expensive to clean up. If the oil soaks into the ground near to a house it could produce fumes inside making it impossible to live in the property. Oil spills can also affect nearby watercourses. Removing an area of oil soaked soil will be expensive and can cause a lot of disruption, especially if the oil has spread under the floors of a house. A little time and money spent on your heating system now, may avoid clean-up costs of thousands of pounds in the future. IT IS IN YOUR OWN INTERESTS TO PREVENT AN OIL LEAK Insurance Check your home insurance policy.You may not be covered for loss of oil or the cost of cleaning up any contamination. If a leak occurs and you are not insured you are likely to have to pay for the clean up yourself. What can go wrong Two examples of what can happen are given below. These are real incidents that have actually happened to people in the Taunton Deane area. Oil leaked from the pipe-work of a central heating system and soaked into the floor and ground underneath a house. Fumes made the house uninhabitable for several weeks.The concrete floor in one room had to be dug out and as the oil had penetrated the walls a small extension had to be removed.The oil also entered a septic tank serving a number of houses, which had to be emptied a number of times. Costs of several thousand pounds were incurred. An old heating oil system was removed and replaced. However, a valve in the new rayburn was left open when the system was turned on, some oil leaked out and found its way into a well in the back garden. The well could no longer be used for drinking water and the owners had to pay to connect to another supply and replace the plastic water tanks and some pipe-work in their house. Health Risks A leak of oil in or near your home can be a risk to your health. Oil can penetrate drinking water pipes and fumes can enter the house giving people symptoms such as: • feeling drunk (sleepy, fuzzy-headed, slow to react, dizzy) • headaches • nausea • sore throats • skin rashes What to do if you have leak or a spill • Try to find out where the leak is coming from and stop further oil leaking as soon as possible. (This may include having the tank emptied) • Contain any escaped oil. Have some oil absorbent material and temporary sealant available. • Any taste or smell of oil in your drinking water should be reported to your water company immediately. If you are on a private water supply you can contact Taunton Deane’s Environmental Protection Team for advice. • Do not drink any water that is suspected to be contaminated until tests have been carried out. • Contact your insurance company. If you are covered for this type of incident they can send out a loss adjuster and arrange for contractors to carry out any necessary works. • Contact the Environmental Protection Team at Taunton Deane Borough Council for advice on cleaning up any contaminated ground.You should be aware that we cannot carry out any clean up work for you, although we can offer general advice. Page 1 of 2

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