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Oil Interceptor Maintenance – How Often Should They Be Cleaned?

Oil interceptors are commonly found in locations such as car parks, garages, transport hubs, car washes, petrol stations and distribution centres – basically, anywhere that gets plenty of vehicles sitting on hard surfaces.

Because oil and petrol can gather on the surfaces of such places, it’s important that measures are taken to prevent these pollutants from finding their way into local soil and watercourses or being washed into the environment by rainwater. Any business creating such a pollution risk has a legal responsibility to stop it happening, and the penalties for not doing so can be severe.

How do they do that? This is where oil interceptors come in.

Oil leak or drop from engine of car on concrete floor , check and maintenance auto service


What is an oil interceptor and how does it work?

An oil interceptor is a tank that is used to trap these pollutants and then separate the oil from the water. The water can then enter the main sewer system, while the remaining oil is held in the tank. The process is very similar to how a septic tank works, in that the oil and water pass through a series of chambers until all the pollutants have been removed. The end result is that while the water can be safely released, the pollutants are retained and prevented from entering the environment.


Why do oil interceptors need to be cleaned?

As the oil interceptor is retaining the pollutants as described above, it follows that at some point it needs to be cleaned and emptied of what is left there. Otherwise, eventually it would fill up and the contents would overflow into the environment. At the same time, the interceptor needs to be serviced, because the oils can stick to surfaces, block any filters that may be installed and generally reduce the effectiveness of the interceptor over time.

It is essential that such work is carried out by a licensed operator, as the disposal of this kind of waste is also governed by strict legislation.


How often should interceptors be cleaned?

To conform to Environment Agency regulations, interceptor cleaning should be carried out at least once a year, but in most cases we would recommend every three to six months. How often each individual interceptor will need to be cleaned, however, will depend on how much traffic is passing through the site in question. The busier the site, the more regularly the oil interceptor will need cleaning – in some cases, that could even be as often as once a week.

It would also be worth getting an extra clean after particularly heavy rain or another event that might have caused more oil to be washed into the system than usual.

Here at Need a Tanker, we offer oil interceptor cleaning, servicing and maintenance to customers across the UK. Our experienced operators can visit for one-off work as required, or we can arrange regular, scheduled maintenance at single or multiple sites.

Find out more about our oil interceptor and other tanker services by calling us now, or fill in our online form for a rapid response.

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