Check your home oil tank: your wallet and the environment will thank you

November 7, 2019

Information bulletin

For immediate release

Check your home oil tank: your wallet and the environment will thank you 

Saanich, BC – Winter is…almost here, and many Saanich residents will fill their oil tank to prepare for colder days ahead. Despite good intentions, spills can happen. Residents are encouraged to have their tank inspected before filling to help prevent unnecessary costs and environmental damage.

Oil spills from aged or damaged tanks can quickly have a direct environmental impact on fish and wildlife habitats by leaching into groundwater or stormwater systems. Even unused tanks can be a source of contamination. Decommissioned tanks have been known to fill with water and slowly leak into the soil.

Did you know that, in general, homeowners must cover all cleanup costs as most house insurance policies don’t cover oil spills? It’s true.

Make the switch

The answer to home heating woes might be as easy as making a change.

B.C. has numerous incentive programs to help homeowners move away from oil tanks to more efficient heating, such as heat pumps. Often these upgrades are not as expensive as you may think.

Report spills early

If you notice a spill, a quick response is key. The longer a spill takes to be reported, the more damage occurs. Spills are to be reported to the Emergency Management BC Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456 so that both Saanich and provincial agencies are notified and can respond appropriately.

Quick facts

  • Saanich responds to approximately five oil spills from home heating fuel tanks annually.
  • To help prevent pollution and cleanup costs, Saanich’s Oil Burning Equipment and Flammable Liquid and Combustible Liquid Fuel Tank Bylaw requires unused underground tanks or tanks that have been out of service for more than two years to be removed.

Learn more


Media contact

District of Saanich