With the milder spring temperatures in Iqaluit, Nunavut's Department of Environment is urging homeowners to inspect their heating oil tanks.

The warmer weather means water in tanks melts during the day and freezes at night, which can cause leaks. Environment Protection Officer Alex Briscoe said he has seen a few leaks already this year. 

Alex Briscoe

Nunavut Environment Protection Officer Alex Briscoe says he has already seen a few heating oil tank leaks this year. (CBC)

"Unfortunately if the water is not drained regularly the water will freeze and when it freezes it expands causing the pipe to crack," he said.

Meltwater can carry hydrocarbons into water sources, potentially creating health concerns and ecological problems. Briscoe said a full cleanup can cost more than $10,000.

He recommends homeowners run their hand underneath the tank each spring. If they smell, spot or suspect a fuel leak, they can call the Department of Environment's 24-hour Spill Line at 867-920-8130.