Petrol should not be allowed to contaminate soil or groundwater. In most countries, strict regulations exist to prevent petrol leaks and spills, unfortunately these are not always properly enforced. Oil companies, their distributors and retail site operators have comprehensive procedures in place for the safe storage and handling of petrol.
No component of petrol, including fuel ethers, is capable of seeping through properly designed, constructed, tested and maintained systems. A responsible attitude and good operating practices will prevent leaks and spills, and the resulting contamination of soil and groundwater. Nevertheless, human error or equipment failure may lead to an accidental release. In such cases, immediate steps must be taken to deal with the situation. Delays or attempts to cover up the incident can lead to more serious pollution, greatly increased clean-up costs and significant legal penalties.