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Serving Northern Virgina / Washington DC Metro Area Customers Since 1987

Reduce the Chance of Oil Spills: Get a Petroleum Tank Inspection in Fairfax County, VA

Proper care and maintenance of your fuel oil tank, lines, and furnace can reduce your chance of spilling oil and being faced with costly environmental problems. Fuel oil spills in residential areas can:

  • Contaminate drinking water wells, ground water, and soil;
  • Foul septic systems, requiring their replacement;
  • Cause odor and health problems in the home;
  • Contaminate storm water drains, sewers, drainage ditches and surface water.

Each of these problems can cost thousands of dollars to correct. The following tips can help homeowners avoid costly repairs and problems associated with leaks and spills from home heating oil systems.

  • Get a petroleum tank inspection at your Fairfax County VA home before and during the heating season.
  • Don't leave your tank unattended during fuel transfers. Avoid overfills!
  • Keep the fill pipe accessible and visible to the delivery company.
  • Keep all pipe connections clean and tight. Check for drips from the fittings and the filter.
  • Clear snow, ice, insect nests or other debris from the tank vent to allow the tank to properly breathe.
  • Look for signs of spillage near the fill and vent pipes; stained soil and rock or distressed vegetation could indicate a fuel spill has occurred.
  • Buried tanks can corrode and leak without obvious signs on the surface. Be alert for unexplained fuel losses that might point to leakage. Measure and monitor fuel usage, and compare it to past seasons. A leaking underground fuel tank or line may cause unexplained increases in fuel consumption.
  • For inside tanks, be alert for signs of oil in the sump pump pit and floor drains, and for any oil smell in the basement or crawl space.
  • All indoor tanks should have a vent alarm that alerts the fuel deliverer before the tank is full. When you receive oil, you can ask the deliverer to verify that the whistle is operating.

For more information on petroleum tank inspection at your Fairfax County VA home, or to discuss other issues with an oil tank on your property please contact Soils and Environmental Services, Inc. (SES). Serving Fairfax County, as well as the rest of Northern Virginia and Washington DC since 1987, SES, specializes in inspecting, testing and safely removing above- and below-ground oil tanks.

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