Fuel storage risks
Fuel leaks from home heating tanks have the potential to contaminate our water supply and environment, particularly if they are close to drinking water wells.
How do leaks occur
Leaks typically result from corrosion inside a steel tank. The corrosion is often not noticed because it occurs on the inside of the tank and creates pinhole leaks. Leaks and spills also result from unprotected tanks and fuels lines, insufficient supports, and spills during filling.
Underground storage tanks
Underground tanks are a high contamination risk to our aquifer because leaks are especially difficult to detect. While most insurance companies no longer provide coverage to homes with underground tanks, some remain in use. Others are no longer used, but remain in the ground and might not have been properly abandoned.
What to do if you have an underground storage tank
If the tank is still in use, it is recommended that you remove or properly decommission or abandon the tank. Contact an environmental services company for assessment and removal.
What if I find an underground tank?
You might find a tank while doing other work in your yard. Before disturbing it, check with the Fire Marshal’s office to see if a permit has been issued for it to be abandoned. If you want to remove it, contact an environmental services company.
Financial assistance with fuel tank removal
Yukon Housing Corporation can provide loans under its Home Repair Program for the approved removal or abandonment of a buried fuel tank and its replacement.
Handling and Storage of Heating Fuel
Proper storage of heating fuel will help protect our drinking water from contamination, and save you from a big headache if a spill occurs. Check that your tank meets these specifications:
Your tank should:
- Be in a safe location and protected from physical damage
- Have protection for all fuel lines and fittings
- Have proper support and restraints
- Be sloped towards the outlet
Help prevent leaks by:
- Keeping your tank full to reduce condensation
- Adding a fuel additive before fill up
- Checking the physical condition of the tanks, fittings, valves and fuel lines regularly
- Looking for drips and ground staining
- Booking an annual inspection by a certified Oil Burner Mechanic
For a more thorough guide to fuel storage and tank maintenance, see "A Guide to Home-heating Oil Tanks" by Yukon Housing.