Leaks, mainly from faulty pipe work and leaky tanks, can be devastating to the environment, animals and fish.

The guidance Get to Know Your Oil Tank is aimed at both domestic and business and users.

The Environment Agency says this time of the year as people refill their tanks for the winter they need to check for a cracks or leaks which might have happened during the summer months.

Environment Agency Thames area manager, Simon Hughes, said: “If you have an oil storage tank make sure it meets the oil storage regulations and check it regularly – even if it’s empty.

“Every autumn we receive hundreds of reports of pollution caused when homeowners have their oil tanks refilled before the cold weather sets in.

“The oil finds its way into local watercourses or into water-bearing rocks below the ground, where it can cause long term damage to water supplies and harm wildlife such as fish, insects and birds.”

If anyone sees oil pollution they’re advised to call the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline 0800 80 70 60 immediately.

Luke Walsh

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie