Heating Oil Spill Cleanup for Homeowners
Oil Storage Tank Leak or Oil Spill First-Steps for Building Owners & Referrals to Regulations & Cleanup Companies

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Cleaning up an oil storage tank leak:

Here we give some first-response suggestions for indoor or outdoor heating oil storage tank leaks. Professional cleanup assistance will be required for underground oil storage tank leaks or spills but even for those tanks, following the suggestions here can reduce the spill size, help contain it and can reduce the ultimate cleanup costs for the oil spill.

This article series includes storage tank leak or oil spill cleanup companies who handle abandonment or leak cleanup for buried oil tanks as well as for above ground oil storage tanks.

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Oil Tank Leak Cleanup Indoors or Outside

Leaky oil tank (C) Daniel FriedmanFirst stop the oil tank leak if you can.

Next Report the oil leak or spill

Report the oil leak or spill as required by regulations that apply depending on where you live. You can find the appropriate reporting or emergency contact information from your heating oil supplier, from your local building department, or from your local, state, or provincial department of environmental protection. Reporting oil spills or leaks within 24 hours is required by law in most jurisdictions.


Stop Deliveries of Heating Oil

Contact your heating oil delivery company for advice; do not continue to deliver oil to a leaking oil storage tank. It may be necessary to seal the oil delivery pipe, cap it, and place a DO NOT DELIVER OIL sign conspicuously on the oil delivery pipe and vent pipe as we have indeed had reports of oil deliveries to leaking, abandoned, and even disconnected oil filler pipes.

Soak up Spilled Heating Oil Indoors

Environmental Issues & Regulations for Oil Tanks

In the U.S. and many other countries state DEP/DEC/DNR (Departments of Environmental Conservation or similar agencies) have programs for registering buried tanks at any site storing (typically) more than 1100 gallons of heating oil. Requirements for gas (auto fuel), or other fuels may be different.

Eventually this concern may spread to smaller residential tanks. The concern is for leaks which contaminate the environment. Tanks located where they may leak into a local waterway or into the water supply are a special environmental concerns. (C)trap DJ Friedman.

LEAK CLEANUP - Oil Leak/Spill Cleanup Companies Directory

A Separate Directory of Oil Tank Locating, Testing, & Oil Tank Removal Companies is at a (separate page)

The directory shown below lists companies specializing in the cleanup of oil leaks & spills, with focus on residential and light commercial properties, though some of these companies may also address large-scale above oil spills on land or at sea.

Reade Question: what is the cost of an oil storage tank leak clean-up?

(Mar 7, 2014) Anonymous said:
What is the average cost to a homeowner of cleanup of a buried oil tank which has been found to have leaked and contamination spread to his property.


Fair question Anon, I don't know.

Costs vary so widely that I'm not sure what help I'd get from average. I've seen costs that little exceeded the cost of removing a tank and a small amt. of soil around the tank, to costs in the many tens of thousands of dollars when seeped under the foundation of a building. Part of the answer to the cost to a homeowner of an oil tank leak or spill cleanup depends on whether or not the homeowner carries insurance that covers that event. Such insurance is sold both directly and through some oil delivery companies, provided that the company has also inspected and tested the oil tank.

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