The state Department of Environmental Protection is urging home owners to inspect home heating oil tanks for potential problems as cold weather approaches.
The department said leaking heating oil can cause indoor air problems and potentially contaminate groundwater and private drinking water wells.
A spill cleanup can cost up to $50,000 and may not be covered by home owner's insurance, DEP said in a news release.
Residents who think their oil tank may have a problem should immediately contact their oil company for help.
DEP encouraged home owners to consider these tips:
- For safety reasons, always assume the tank contains at least some oil;
- Routinely inspect the exterior of the tank and all attached equipment;
- Check for signs of rusting on the tank and its structural supports;
- Examine the tank's fill line and feed line to the furnace for leaks;
- Never tip over or empty a tank on the ground;
- Enlist a professional to perform maintenance or alterations to a heating oil tank system; and
- Recognize that wet spots or odors near the tank may signal a problem.