What to Do When a Diesel Spill Occurs

When safety procedures are followed, unfortunately accidental diesel fuel spills may still happen, and it’s very important to properly clean it up right away. Because diesel and water do not  mix, washing it away with water will only spread the fuel even more, and leaving a spill can destroy the ground, be a fire hazard and cause harm to the environment.

What Causes Spills?

First, it is important to know what can cause a spill, as this is your first step in preventing one. 
  • Expansion
  • Overfilling equipment
  • Fuel left on equipment that could drip onto the ground
  • Not carefully filling running equipment
  • Faulty equipment 

Spill Response Kit

Next, you will need to make sure you have the right equipment to clean the spill. The exact equipment you need depends on what kind of spill you think may happen. For example, because PSPI delivers fuel to all job sites, our response kit will include the following:
  • Absorbent (grease sweep)
  • Absorbent pads
  • Absorbent socks
  • Disposal bucket
  • Broom and dust pan
  • Triangles (traffic/ zone markers)
  • Flashlight

Ways to Prevent a Spill

  • Inspect your equipment for leaks and deterioration regularly. 
  • Use a diaper to catch fuel that leaks or squirts from running equipment.
  • As we mentioned in our previous blog, DO NOT overfill equipment in the summer. The heat causes expansion and will make tanks seem fuller than they are and could cause a spill.

How to Clean a Diesel Fuel Spill

  1. Safety is the #1 priority. Make sure the scene is safe and contain the spill. (if containment is a problem, contact 911 immediately)
  2. Remove all items from the area that could produce a spark and instruct people in the area not to smoke, activate equipment or start a motor vehicle.
  3. Identify where the spill came from and determine if you can stop the leak. 
  4. Once you have stopped the leak, sprinkle absorbent over the spill and let sit until diesel is absorbed.
  5. Once the diesel is absorbed, sweep the debris with a broom and dustpan.
  6. Properly dispose of the diesel/absorbent mixture.
  7. Whenever possible make sure the spill is diverted from storm drains, waterways and sewers. 

Your Premier Distributer of Fuels, Oils and Lubricants

You can count on PSPI to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective solutions for all your fuel, oil and lubricant needs. Product lines include premium brands Chevron and Mobil and our quality low-cost leader, GC Lubricants. Give us a call at (800) 679-1700 or send us an email and we can set up a program that best suits you.