Central Heating Oil Tank Oil Tank

Oil Tank

At the heart of any oil heating installation is an oil storage tank. When correctly installed and maintained, today’s oil tanks can provide many years of safe, secure and environmentally responsible fuel storage.

At above-ground, domestic oil storage installations, it is important to determine whether or not you require either a single skin or a bunded oil tank. A bunded oil tank consists of a tank within a tank. The oil is stored in the inner tank, whilst the outer tank is designed to act as a containment area in the event of a spillage originating from the inner tank e.g. as the result of an overfill.

Bunded oil tanks are now a requirement at all new agricultural, commercial, industrial, institutional and most domestic installations too, including all domestic installations with an installed capacity of 2,500 litres or greater. To determine whether or not a bunded oil tank is required, an Environmental Risk Assessment should be undertaken at the proposed installation site by a competent person:

Environmental Risk Assessment - Above Ground Oil Tanks

Will the oil tank be positioned within 10 metres of a watercourse e.g. sea, lake, river, stream, drainage ditch etc?

Will the oil tank be located in a position whereby a spillage could run into an open drain or reach a loose fitting manhole cover?

Will the oil tank be situated within 50 metres of a well, borehole or spring?

Will the oil tank be positioned in such a manner whereby any spillage could pass over hard ground and enter a watercourse?

Will the oil tank be used for any purpose other than the storage of fuel for heating and / or cooking purposes at a private, domestic dwelling occupied by a single family?

Will the oil tank be situated in a position where the vent point is not visible from the fill point?

Will the oil tank have a capacity greater than 2,500 litres?

Will the oil tank be installed in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man?

Will the oil tank be installed within an Area of Special Scientific Interest, a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

If the answer is 'Yes' to any of the above questions, then a bunded oil tank must be installed. Fitting a single skin oil tank where a bunded oil tank is legally required is a criminal offence.

Even if a single skin oil tank will currently suffice, it should be noted that single skin oil tanks do not incorporate any form of inbuilt secondary containment. Therefore in the event of a spillage, a pollution incident will result and hence at all installations, serious consideration should be given to the installation of a bunded oil tank.

UK Office