Sussex residents urged to check oil tanks

Residents across the south who use oil to heat their homes are being urged to check their oil tanks a part of a national campaign.

Oil tank
Oil tank

Some 21,000 rural households in Sussex are being given the advise as part of the ‘Tank Safe’ campaign, relaunched this year by OFTEC, the UK trade body for oil heating, with the Environment Agency and oil distribution trade association FPS (Federation of Petroleum Suppliers) to highlight awareness of tank safety.

According to research, it is estimated one in three tanks are over their maximum life expectancy of 20 years and need to be replaced to prevent any oil leaking.

Malcolm Farrow, of OFTEC, said: “This warm weather means many people are not using their heating which makes it easy to forget about the tank tucked away in the garden.

“This is why we are advising households in Sussex to check their tank is in good condition so, when the tank is really needed in winter, households don’t face a costly surprise.

“Oil leaks are very rare but the consequences when they do happen aren’t just a problem for the householder but can also be a serious environmental issue, depending on how much oil has leaked and if it is near a water source.

“We recommend oil users have their tank inspected by an OFTEC registered technician, at least once a year, as part of their boiler service.”

An Environment Agency spokesperson added: “Leaks and spills from oil storage tanks and pipework can cause pollution incidents, leading to the oil polluting streams and rivers as well as soaking into groundwater supplies.

“It’s better to check your tank now so that you can help prevent any leaks or spillages and to protect rivers and streams from potential pollution.”

The households using oil have been given the following advise:

If your tank is over 20 years old, or you are in any doubt, replace it.

Pipework between the tank and boiler must be carefully inspected.

Ensure the tank is kept clear of plants and foliage and is on a good solid base.

Check that your home insurance covers oil spillages.

Report any spillages immediately to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

For further information visit Oil save

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