The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is urging Minnesotans who have oil-burning furnaces to inspect their oil tanks and intake pipes before making their first winter order of heating fuel.
About 90,000 Minnesotans use oil for heating, and on average each year about 40 homes report that oil delivered to the outside fill spout on their houses ended up filling their basements.
“The effects of a fuel-oil spill can be devastating,” said Chris McLain, Petroleum Remediation Supervisor at the MPCA. “We’ve seen fuel oil spilling into people’s basements, well water becoming undrinkable, and homes even becoming unlivable — and all of this is preventable.”
Fuel-oil tanks need regular maintenance to prevent leaks from corrosion, improper installation, faulty piping, failing valves and from weather conditions such as falling ice, snowpacks or flooding.
If you discover a petroleum release from your tank, call the PCA’s Minnesota Duty Officer immediately at (800) 422-0798.