The Environment Agency is urging householders with domestic oil tanks to ensure they are safe to use.
With people getting their oil delivery for the winter, the Agency is encouraging them make sure they are only stored in tanks that are in good condition to protect the environment and reduce the risk of “potentially large financial losses”.
Environment Officer Alison Hyman said heating oil can cause “serious problems” if it gets into the environment.
She added: “It can pollute rivers, harm wildlife and contaminate ground and drinking water. But it’s not just the cost of losing the oil that can be expensive, clean-up costs can be large and are not always covered by household insurance policies.
“Both the tank and pipe work should be regularly inspected and people should never buy more oil than they can safely store.”