Things To Do If You Have An Oil Spill In Your Garden

Things to do if you have an oil spill in your garden

We have compiled the following guide as a means to help people who find themselves in the stressful situation of discovering an oil leak at their garden or oil spill on their property. Things to do if you have an oil spill in your garden

1. Shut off your oil supply
2. Check your tank for a leak
3. Check your boiler for a leak
4. Check your drains & sewers
5. Call an expert for advice
6. Wait for help from emergency responders

1. Shut off your oil supply – oil spill in your garden

Things to do if you have an oil spill in your garden. This one should be immediately obvious, SHUT OFF YOUR OIL SUPPLY, the last thing you want to do is let any potential oil spill get bigger. Every domestic fuel tank should have a shut off valve. This will be a circular dial or a quarter turn lever and will be joined to the tank itself. Oil is expensive and the last thing anyone wants to do is lose more and contaminate more soil. In the event that you can’t find a shut off valve check along the base of the tank on all sides, it may be buried. If it has rusted, disintegrated or be broken. In this instance call your closest emergency oilspill responder immediately.

2. Check your tank for a leak – oil spill in your garden

A temporary fix that will slow the rate of loss

Using soap to seal leaking tanks temporarily

Things to do if you have an oil spill in your garden. Check your tank! If it is dark get a torch and methodically inspect your tank, paying particularly close attention to any seams in the tank. Sometimes plastic oil tanks split, this will usually be near a seam or joint where the tank is moulded together. Additional pressure caused by the weight of the oil in a tank will often cause splits near the bottom seams, so check these carefully. Hopefully your tank is fine and you can move on through these steps. However, if you find a split go get a bar of household soap. Rub the soap into the split in your tank over and over until the leak stops. This a temporary repair for leaking tanks. You should contact a specialist immediately for a more permanent repair.

3. Check Your Boiler for a leak– oil spill in your garden

Things to do if you have an oil spill in your garden.  So its not your tank! Next you should check your boiler. This should be easier but if it’s dark you might need a torch. Open your boiler house door and set aside. If your boiler is leaking there should be a puddle of liquid oil on the floor of the boiler housing.

If you find your boiler is leaking go and get a tray or bowl and place it under the leaking component.
Now we need to work out which component that might be. There are only a few items that are connected to the “oil” part of your boiler:

• Flexi-hose – By far the biggest cause of domestic oil spills and should be replaced regularly.
• Tigerloop – A device that removes air from your system, preventing air locks and allowing your boiler to be positioned uphill from your tank. Not every boiler will have a tigerloop. These are usually well constructed and of high quality, leaks are rare but not unheard of.
• Fittings – The fittings that join any of these components to the boiler itself can and do leak. These can result in sizeable oil spills at your boiler. Fittings themselves are very simple and don’t tolerate much movement before a leak can occur.
• Again your oil supply should be already shut off so things can’t get any worse. Call a local plumber to get the impacted component replaced and call an oil spill responder to check out where the oil spill has gone to as this is now your main concern

4. Check your drains & Sewers – oil spill in your garden

Checking oil spill in drain

Checking oil spill in drain

Things to do if you have an oil spill in your garden.  Check your drains and sewer immediately.

-Manholes near to the oil leak?
-Pipes running through the area?
-Hard surfaces that could allow surface oil to be washed to a gully?

Open your manholes and have a look inside for signs of oil, even smells. If oil is in your drains or sewers then it is likely that the oil spill will be migrating off-site. Storm drains in particular lead to drains and then rivers. You should contact an emergency oil spill responder immediately.

5. Call an Expert for Advice

Things to do if you have oil spill in your garden.  Emergency oil spill responders such as Gaea are specialists in disaster management and remediation. You will receive proper advice on how to minimise the loss, minimise the impact to rivers, minimise the impact to your property and minimise the impact to neighbours. You will also receive advice on your obligations to regulators.

6. Wait for help from Emergency Responders

Things to do if you have an oil spill in your garden.  If you find yourself in an emergency situation and are suffering from a sizeable oil spill that is a risk to the environment, your property and human health a responder will promptly attend your property.
• Tank leaks can be fixed
• Boiler leaks can be fixed
• Oil smells can be managed
• Emergency containment trenches can be installed that prevent further spread of an oil spill.
• Oil supply pipes can be replaced.