Contaminated Land

Avoiding Pollution From Heating Oil Tanks

Many homes in Pembrokeshire have an oil tank to supply oil-fired central heating.

Oil is toxic and can cause harm to your health and your family’s health, plants, animals, wildlife and the environment. Oil can travel a long way in the ground and in water and can easily contaminate underground water sources by soaking deep into the ground. It can permeate through water supply pipes and contaminate drinking water supplies. It is important to make sure that your tank and the oil supply pipework is regularly and correctly maintained and to understand the consequences for you, if oil leaks, or is spilled from your system.  

Most leaks are caused by poorly maintained or faulty tanks and pipework whilst most spills are caused by thefts or when the tank is being filled. Leaks should be repaired without delay and spills should be quickly stopped from spreading and becoming any worse.

If an accident does happen, the Pollution Control Team and Natural Resources Wales can offer you advice and help to ensure that the clean-up is done promptly and to the appropriate standard. We will however not be able to undertake the clean-up works or pay for the clean-up for you.  

Insurance companies may not pay if a leak has gone unnoticed or ignored over time. It is important to regularly check your tank and pipework for leaks and to monitor the amount of oil that you use. An increase in the amount of oil you use or a sudden decrease in the amount of oil in your tanks could mean that there is a leak.  

The booklet below could help to avoid the significant cost, inconvenience and risks to your health and the environment which are caused when heating oil leaks or is spilled from the storage tank/pipework. This booklet explains the things that can be done to prevent accidents such as leaks and spills, and the steps that should be taken if an accident does happen. 

Domestic Oil Tank Guidance

Pollution Control

Tel: 01437 764551


ID: 2474, revised 02/02/2023