Oil storage regulations are in place to protect you, your family and the environment from harm, whether it’s for commercial or domestic use.

Oil tank installations and building regulations:

All oil storage tank installations should comply with local Building Regulations.

If you choose a technician that isn’t registered with a scheme such as OFTEC, you may run into time and cost implications as you will be required to arrange inspections from your local building control authorities to be able to go ahead.

OFTEC registered technicians are able to self certify their oil tank installations in England, without approval from your Local Authority Building Control. OFTEC says your tanks should be located:

  • 1.8m away from non-fire rated eaves of a building
  • 1.8m away from a non-fire rated building or structure (e.g. garden sheds)
  • 1.8m away from openings (such as doors or windows) in a fire rated building or structure (e.g. brick-built house/garage)
  • 1.8m away from liquid fuel appliance flue terminals
  • 760mm away from a non-fire rated boundary, such as a wooden boundary fence
  • 600mm away from screening (e.g. trellis and foliage) that does not form part of the boundary.

Environmental protection and bunded tanks:

When oil spills from domestic tanks it is not just damaging to the environment but also expensive to clean up.

A bunded oil tank will help to reduce the risk. This is a tank simply with a second skin ‘a bund’. To be compliant the bund must hold 110% of the tanks capacity and be impermeable to water. You will need a bunded tank if your oil tank is located in a place where:

  • Oil spills could run into a drain or manhole cover
  • It’s within 10 metres of lakes or streams
  • It’s within 50 metres of a potable drinking water source, like a spring, borehole or well?
  • Oil spills could run over hard ground until it reaches potable water sources, fresh inland water or coastlines
  • You’ll also need a bund if your tank can hold more than 3,500 litres of oil

Looking after your tank:

It is your responsibility to maintain the fuel storage tank on your property. As an oil tank owner, you are directly responsible for the clean-up costs of any spills that occur and any consequential damage. Tanks should be visually checked by a competent person at the time of your annual appliance service visit. OFTEC also recommends regularly carrying out a visual check between service visits. These are some of the warning signs to look out for:

  • Rust
  • Splits or cracks
  • Bulging
  • Gauges falling over or not working
  • Subsidence on the base
  • Sudden increase in usage of fuel
  • Tanks overgrown with foliage
  • Strong fuel smell