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315 West Main St.
P.O. Box 7800
Tavares, Florida 32778


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For immediate release - May 3, 2005

Lake County targets residential home-heating oil tanks for proper disposal

TAVARES — Lake County wants homeowners in the cities and the unincorporated areas of the County to join in the fight against soil and water pollution.

The Department of Environmental Services (DES) is launching the Home Heating Oil Recovery Program designed to locate and properly drain fuel oil from old tanks. 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.

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Contact information:
Christopher Patton
Communications Coordinator
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445
cpatton@co.lake.fl.us

 
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