We have compiled the following guide “6 Things To Do If You Have An Oil Spill In Your Garden” as a means to help people Oil spill clean up contractor who find themselves in the stressful situation of discovering an oil leak at their garden or oil spill on their property.

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

This one should be oil leak in garden 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 oilspillresponder immediately.

2.      Check your tank for a leak

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 mouled together. 

The 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

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 – This is by far the biggest cause of domestic oil spills and should be replaced regularly.
  • Tigerloop – This is 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.  The 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

Are there manholes near to the oil leak?

Are there pipes running through the area?

Are there 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

Emergency oil spill responders such as Gaea are specialists in disaster management.  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

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.