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DEP Advises Homeowners to Inspect Home Heating Oil Tanks, Take Precautions to Prevent Spills, Leaks
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Monday advised residents to inspect and assess home heating oil tanks before the upcoming heating season to avoid leaks or spills that can be prevented.
Nearly one in five Pennsylvania households uses heating oil to stay warm in the winter. Owners of home heating oil tanks should inspect indoor and outdoor tanks for potential problems. Leaking heating oil tanks can contaminate drinking water and soils, diminish indoor air quality, create the potential for fires and explosions, and subject tank owners to very expensive cleanups, which may not be covered by homeowner insurance policies. With proper tank management, spills and leaks can be avoided. Tank owners who think their oil tank may have a problem should immediately contact their oil company for help.
DEP encourages home heating oil tank owners to routinely inspect the exterior of the tank and all attached equipment and follow these tips:
Tank owners should make certain that the home address is clearly visible and the tank’s fill line is clearly marked when heating oil is delivered. If a tank owner cannot be home when heating oil is delivered, mark the fill pipe with a red flag or marker and inform the oil company of its location. Residents should ensure that any disconnected fill pipes that remain above the ground are permanently sealed and cannot be opened.
If a leak or spill occurs, tank owners should do the following:
For more information on home heating oil tanks, visit the new Home Heating Oil web page on DEP’s website at www.dep.pa.gov/homeheatingoil or call DEP’s Division of Storage Tanks at 717-772-5599.
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