Fuel Contamination in Drinking Water Storage

It doesn't happen very often - but when it does it's a major incident for water companies as they look to protect their customers and clean-up the contamination in the system as quickly as possible.

Over the last 20 years, we have been commissioned on a number of occasions to help with fuel contamination events - more often than not arising from a leaking generator incorrectly placed near an asset.  Once the the fuel enters storage assets, it requires a full drain-down and advanced clean to remove all traces of the hydrocarbon contamination.

See one of the case studies outlining our involvement - and please don't hesitate to get in touch should you need support of this kind.

CASE STUDY: A Swift and Effective Response to the Western Isles Water Crisis


Overview of the Event:

In a recent emergency, the water supply to parts of the Western Isles was severely affected by a fuel leak, resulting in water restrictions and an unpleasant taste and odor in tap water. Panton McLeod played a crucial role in addressing this crisis, providing swift and effective solutions.

Quick Response:

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, our teams were immediately mobilized to respond to the crisis. Within 24 hours, we were on the ground, ready to take action.

Our Involvement:

  • Tank Cleaning: Our specialized teams were tasked with the critical mission of cleaning the affected drinking water storage tanks. This included tanks servicing schools and hospitals, where the impact of the crisis was most keenly felt.
  • Our Specialised Chemical: We utilized PM88, our highly effective chemical designed to remove hydrocarbons from contaminated storage tanks, as a key element of our cleaning process.
  • Night Shifts: The severity of the situation called for around-the-clock operations. We worked tirelessly, even through the night, to ensure a swift and thorough cleaning process.

Collaboration was a key aspect of our response. We worked closely with Scottish Water and other specialist service providers, to ensure that our recovery operation was as comprehensive as possible. 


In just six days, we successfully cleaned a total of 10 tanks, including those serving essential institutions such as schools and hospitals. Our relentless efforts and the dedication of our teams played a pivotal role in the swift resolution of the crisis.


The Western Isles water crisis highlighted the importance of a rapid and coordinated response in emergency situations. Panton McLeod, in collaboration with Scottish Water and specialist service providers, demonstrated the effectiveness of preparedness and commitment in mitigating the impact of water supply contamination incidents. Our use of specialized cleaning methods combined with night shifts and community support, was instrumental in resolving the crisis and restoring normal water service to the affected areas.



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