Most only think about it once it becomes an issue, but few challenges strike as much worry in the hearts of property owners as a leaking fuel tank. Fire hazards, fumes, environmental mitigation or underground oil tanks, environmentally-friendly removal, and disposal all loom large.
If you have a fuel or oil leak, regardless of the type of tank you have, here are the steps you need to follow.
Identify the Source
It depends on the type of tank you have, but most leaks are fairly easy to locate. They generally will happen at piping joints, valves, or seams. The tip-off you have a leak, whether the tank is above or below ground, indoor or outdoor — is the odor.
An Unknown Source
If you suddenly have a strong odor of fuel in your backyard, garage, or basement where you do not have an oil tank, or if your oil tank is not leaking, you may have an underground tank that a previous owner of your property installed.
Do not dig to try and find the source as you do not know what is leaking, how big the leak is, or if your digging may make matters worse.
What You Should Do Immediately
If the leak source is visible and you can lessen the amount of oil leaking, you should do so. Follow this process:
- Ensure the area the tank and leak are in is well ventilated and shut off all access to the area.
- If the leak is dripping from a pipe, valve, or seam, catch it with a can or bucket.
- Form a barrier of cat litter or soil around any pooling of oil to keep it controlled.
- If your tank is punctured or a seam has split, use bar soap to try and plug the holes or split.
- If you cannot tell where the leak is coming from or an odor suddenly emerges, call your local fire department; oil is combustible, and you may have a fire hazard.
Once those steps are done, call the experts at Professional Tank & Environmental and ask them to come and assess your leak and recommend mitigation actions. For more information about our emergency services, contact us today!