PEOPLE in Wrexham who use oil to heat their homes are being warned to be on their guard after the River Dee was polluted following a suspected theft.

Officers from Environment Agency Wales were called to a stream known as Foss Brook, near Bangor-on-Dee, last week after the leakage.

They were able to place booms across the water, preventing any significant damage to wildlife.

The incident is thought to have happened after a theft from a domestic heating oil tank.

Lee Rawlinson from Environment Agency Wales said: “There are many people who rely on oil for their heating but we are dealing with an average of one incident every week in Wales.

“We want householders to check their tanks for any leaks, see if their oil levels have dropped quickly or if it seems they are using a lot more than usual to get in touch with us. We can then arrange to visit and see how we can help stem the flow.

“It is not only the effect to the environment that is of concern, but the prospect of people being left without heating in this weather. Replacing lost oil is an expensive business so keeping that loss to a minimum is important.”

The Environment Agency Wales also says tanks, pipes and joints, particularly on older systems, are vulnerable following a long freeze and leaks can be common.

The organisation is now asking for people to:

Check pipe work and tanks for any leaks.
Check the tank regularly for a sudden drop in levels.
Keep an eye on the amount of oil used.

Domestic heating oil can kill plants, harm wildlife, pollute rivers and contaminate drinking water if it leaks.

If people discover a leak or have any information they can call 0800 80 70 60 and report it.