New Home Heating Oil Tank Regulations Protect Drinking Water


AUGUSTA, ME – June 23, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — As of July 1, 2009 all new and replacement home heating oil tanks within the wellhead protection zone of community drinking water wells must be double-walled or have additional spill containment. The wellhead protection zone is the area around a well where it is most susceptible to contamination.“Protecting this area helps to keep Maine’s drinking water safe,” says Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) engineer David McCaskill. “The DEP responds, on average, to more than one spill a day from residential home heating oil tanks, and corrosion is the single largest cause.”

Double-walled tanks and secondary containment vessels help minimize the number of spills by preventing corrosion and capturing oil released from the inner tank should a leak occur.

Community water systems can be more than just the municipal water departments and water districts that people normally think of when they think of a water system. They also include mobile home parks, condominium associations and nursing homes that have their own water supply. By definition “community water systems” are those that serve at least 25 people living in the buildings served by the water system (or has at least 15 “service connections” or “hook-ups”) at least 60 days a year. Maine has more than 400 community water systems.

The Maine legislature approved the pollution prevention requirement in the spring of 2008 to help prevent spills and to protect public drinking water supplies. For more information call the DEP’s Bureau of Remediation & Waste Management at 207-287-2651 or go to to download information on double wall tanks.

Contact: David McCaskill (207) 287-7056 david.mccaskill (at) maine (dot) gov


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