Oil Spills from Domestic Oil Tanks Domestic tanks are commonly used by homeowners if a mains gas supply is not available in their area. Oil spills from domestic tanks are not very common, but they can have drastic adverse effects on the environment. Just one liter or oil can contaminate up to one million liters of drinking water. An oil spill or leak from a domestic oil tank is often the result of improper installation, corrosion, or overfilling. Oil spills from domestic tanks can be avoided if precautionary measures are taken right from the start. Most tanks used for domestic purposes are made of steel or composite materials, so they are susceptible to corrosion if left outdoors. To protect your tank from extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions, it should be installed indoors. If your tank must be installed outdoors, the location should meet the following criteria. The surface should be even and made of non-combustible materials, like concrete slabs or patio stones. The tank should not block an entrance and it should not be within 50 feet of a well either. Make sure the tank is not placed up against a wall, which can lead to rust. Most importantly, never install a used tank. You might think it's a good way to save money, but reusing tanks will only invite problems and can cost you big bucks in the long run. Up to 1000 liters of oil can leak out of a single pinhole in just eight hours, so inspecting your tank regularly, particularly in winter, is very important. You should check for any signs of corrosion and other damage like cracks or dents. It is also wise to apply rust-proof paint on all parts of the tank to prevent corrosion. Tanks should be cleaned periodically as well. If left unclean, sludge and water will accumulate and lead to internal corrosion.