Oil Leak

Oil Leak Prevention

What happens when heating oil leaks into the ground

 A leak from the heating oil tank or system can have a devastating effect on the soil contaminated by the spill.  At Enviroleak we appreciate the need for urgent action when a leak has been found.  The immediate and long-term effects on the environment from a home heating oil leak can be extremely damaging.  Here is what happens when kerosene seeps into the ground.

The soil

Kerosene is toxic to all above ground plants and will kill off the grass and the roots of all vegetation in the affected area. It can seep across lawns and cause destruction to trees and hedges in the property.  Unfortunately, it does not respect borders and boundaries and a spill could affect your neighbour’s property too.   It’s not unusual for homeowners to suffer damage to their property at the hands of a neighbour, particularly in the event of an oil spill, as kerosene will migrate rapidly through soil and water after being absorbed into the ground. Home heating oil does not evaporate in normal temperature conditions, but rather stays in the soil until properly treated by professionals.  Depending on the extent of the spill and on the local conditions, oil can take as much as 20 to 30 years to fully decompose in the ground. This is one of the reasons why an expert remediation of the site is needed as a matter of urgency. 


Oil can also impact on underground water pipes and pollute drinking water.  If the site of a leak is not cleaned, the oil can cause pollution to groundwater or to nearby streams, rivers and lakes.  A full site investigation will show whether nearby ground water has been contaminated. If the oil has or could enter drains, groundwater, ponds, rivers, loughs, estuaries or coastal waters you may be obliged to report the incident.  At Enviroleak our expert team will advise and assist on reporting and clean up requirements regarding affected waterways and the spill itself.


Kerosene spills also soak into the brick or stonework of buildings and can often seep into the very foundations of buildings and can cause damage to buried services such as supply pipes.   An expert team will need to investigate the full extent of damage caused by heating oil leaked in and under a structure.   You should not try to clear up major spills yourself but consult a specialist contractor to do all the necessary investigations and the cleaning up and disposal.

Long Term

Every oil spill is different, and the impact of a fuel leak can vary from site to site. Once a comprehensive site investigation has been completed and with the leak identified, a site-specific plan is established to geta the work done as quickly as possible.  At Enviroleak our aim is to reinstate the site, your home and any other affected area in the most practical and cost-effective manner.    We take pride in seeing former spill sites blooming and blossoming once more.  Contact us today if you have any queries or worries about a home heating oil leak.