Tank advice

Oil storage

For domestic customers we most frequently replace an old or leaking steel tank with a new, no maintenance, plastic tank with a 10-year guarantee. Is your tank leaking or looking very old and rusty? Before you have an expensive environmental incident on your premises why not install a new oil tank.  Choose between modern plastic and traditional metal tanks.

Plastic tanks

Plastic tanks have a number of advantages. They:

When you have decided on your new or replacement fuel tank, there are a number of regulations and guidelines to follow.

What is a bunded tank?

A bunded tank has a back-up method of containing oil which must be leak-proof. This is an integral outer tank, a double skin or a specially constructed concrete catchment pit.

Does the tank need to be bunded?

The storage of fuel oil is covered by The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/2954) which came into force on 1 March 2002. They apply to a wide range of oil storage installations in England and require all oil storage tanks over 205 litres to be bunded. However, this does not apply to the storage of oil on any premises used wholly or mainly as one or more private dwellings, if the capacity of the tank is 3500 litres or below.

Building Regulations J6 applies to oil storage tanks of 3500 litres or less which serve combustion appliances in buildings used wholly or mainly as private dwellings. In these cases, secondary containment should be provided where there is a significant risk of oil pollution. For the purposes of requirement J6, there is a significant risk of pollution if the oil storage installation is located:

When secondary containment is considered necessary, a way of meeting the requirement would be to:

Bunds, whether part of prefabricated tank systems or constructed on site, should have a capacity of at least 110% of the largest tank they contain or 25% of the total volume which ever is the larger.

Farm tanks are covered by The Control Of Pollution (Silage, Slurry And Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations 1991. Amended 1997. This covers the storage of more than 1500 litres of agricultural fuel on farms.

Where can I site the tank?

The tank should ideally be located more than 1800 mm from a combustible building ( that is, one having less than 30 minutes fire resistance) to meet the requirements of BS 5410 Part 2. The tank should also be at least 1800mm from an opening in a non combustible building. If this is not possible then a fire wall needs to be constructed to provide 30 minutes protection.

The tank should ideally be located 760mm from a combustible boundary or a firewall of 30 minutes fire resistance should be constructed.

What sort of base is required?

Bases should be constructed of sufficient strength for the weight of the tank and contents.

Does the tank have to be raised to provide a gravity feed to the boiler?

Provided the boiler has a pressure jet burner the tank can be located generally not more than 300mm below the level of the boiler. If it is lower then this then a de-aerator (tiger loop) should be fitted. This is normally a cheaper option than constructing piers to raise the tank up. If the appliance is the vaporising (wick type) a head is required and the tank should be at least 760mm above the float chamber of the appliance.

Note: if you are replacing an old metal tank, then the fact that it is raised up should not be taken as proof you need to locate the new tank at the same height. Metal tanks are always raised up and mostly this is to prevent them rusting - not for reasons related to the boiler.

Industrial sites

Any industrial, commercial or civic site storing over 200 litres of oil must be bunded. Existing stores will have to comply with the new regulations. These rules apply not only to fuel oil but any chemical or liquid that comes in to contact with the ground causing a threat to the environment.

Shropshire Oil has a full range of products to meet your needs. All our recommendations meet or exceed the oil storage regulations and we actively promote the safe storage of products.

Full guidance should be sought from the Environment Agency or your local Planning Department as this information is provided as a basic guide only.

Follow this link to find out about the range of tank solutions on offer from Shropshire Oil.