Below are a few examples of what can happen if things go wrong. These are real incidents.
The oil supply pipe between the tank and the house developed a leak. Heating oil contaminated the ground beneath a neighbour’s house. The neighbour’s house had to be evacuated and the ground floor completely removed to deal with the contaminated ground.
A newly installed oil fired boiler was not connected up properly. On firing the system, oil was pumped out across the floor inside the house. Oil soaked into the ground at the wall/floor junctions. Fumes filled the house for several months and the house had to be evacuated while the floors were removed and the contamination cleaned up.
A central heating oil tank mounted on concrete block supports corroded over time. Oil leaked out of the tank, staining the supports and soaking into the ground below. Water pipes to two houses ran under the spill area. As oil can penetrate plastic water supply pipes, there was a serious risk of the water supply being contaminated. The water pipes had to be replaced and the contaminated soil removed.
All of the above incidents cost several thousands of pounds to rectify and caused considerable stress and disruption to the residents.