As winter sets in and temperatures drop, Natural Resources Wales is reminding people who use oil to heat their homes and businesses to check their tanks for leaks.
Following a prolonged cold winter last year, tanks and pipes may have become damaged by freezing temperatures, and could cause oil to leak when they are put into use this winter, causing pollution to nearby ground and watercourses.
As well as inspecting for any visual signs of damage, Natural Resources Wales is also asking people to keep a check on oil levels in the tank throughout the winter, as a sudden drop in levels can indicate that oil is being lost.
Domestic heating oil can cause serious environmental damage if it leaks – it can kill plants, harm wildlife, pollute rivers and contaminate drinking water.
Jon Goldsworthy, from Natural Resources Wales said:
“As well as causing environmental damage, homeowners will also be very aware of the cost of replacing lost oil, so it’s in their interest to make sure their tanks are in good working order.
“Cleaning up an oil spill can also be a costly business which could leave householders and businesses facing bills of more than £1,000. We don’t want this to happen, which is why we are urging oil users to regularly check their storage facilities.
“If anyone is concerned about damage or a leak, they can contact our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 and an officer will happily advise.”