For immediate release - May 27, 2005
TAVARES — The Lake County Department of Environmental Services (DES) is announcing the first pump-outs of old home heating oil tanks scheduled for May 31 and June 1. The proper disposal of the remaining oil in nine old home-heating oil tanks marks the beginning of a new environmental-protection service that is offered free to Lake County homeowners.
The Home Heating Oil Recovery Program was established to protect the water supply. One gallon of oil can contaminate one million gallons of water. The service is provided at no cost to homeowners and is financed by the Pollution Recovery Trust Fund. That fund receives money from civil penalties imposed for polluting the environment.
“The old tanks used prior to the 1970s corrode, allowing remaining fuel oil to leak out and seep into the aquifer,” said Charlie Cox, a DES inspector. “Many of these tanks, long forgotten, are now being discovered as the older houses are remodeled. If a homeowner has a heating oil tank on their property that is no longer being used, we want to help them dispose of the fuel in an environmentally safe way.”
Homeowners may not even be aware of the old buried oil tanks on their property. Clues to their existence include:
- Two pipes about 6 to 10 inches apart near the house. They may be located near the heat pump.
- Portions of the yard that are withering or plants dying repeatedly in a single area.
Homeowners are encouraged to call (352) 343-3776 ext. 255 to arrange for proper draining of the home-heating oil tanks and proper disposal of the recovered oil. Leave a name, address and phone number and a member of the County’s Home Heating Oil Recovery Program will return the call. Commercial properties are not eligible to participate in the program.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Interested media that would like to attend the first pump-outs of old home-heating oil tanks are encouraged to call Chris Patton at (352) 343-9609, (352) 455-0445 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carla Mitchell, 4-H Program Assistant