What Is A Bunded Oil Tank?
If you’re storing heating oil it is a requirement that you have a bunded tank. This essentially means that you have a tank within a tank with your heating oil being stored within the inner tank. This means that both tanks have to be damaged in order for a leak to occur.
All non-domestic oil storage tanks over 200 litres need to be bunded.
For domestic premises you need to carry out an oil storage risk assessment (this can be obtained from OFTEC). In brief a Bund is required in domestic situations if:
- You are storing over 2500 litres
- Your tank is near an open drain or loose fitting manhole
- Your tank is within 10m of controlled water such as a river, stream etc
- Your tank is located where any spillage could travel over hard ground to reach controlled water
- Your oil use is for a building other than a single family dwelling
- Any other unique hazards to your site
Bunded tanks are a durable and a long lasting solution specifically designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Long standing durability ensures that your fuel remains safely stored and unable to cause damage to your premises or pollute the environment
The control of Pollution regulation drawn up in 2001 stipulates all commercial and industrial tank users must provide a secondary containment capability to make sure that in the event of any leaks, the fuels stored can not contaminate water.
How Do You Dispose Oil Tanks?
Oil tank disposal should be undertaken by specialists such as ourselves. This is due to the fact that the oil contained could be hazardous to the local environment and care must be taken in the disposal of the tank.
How Long Does Heating Oil Last?
How long your heating oil will depend on your own personal usage, such as how long you have your heating on each day, as well as the time of year. On average it’s expected that 500 litres will last 2-3 months during the winter months.
Other factors that can affect your heating oil usage is the condition of your heating tank. Older aging tanks have a tendency to consume more oil than newer models that have been designed efficiently. You should ensure you keep your tank well maintained and if you feel like your tank has suffered damages, look at getting it replaced.
If your wanting to conserve your heating oil there are a few factors you should look at doing:
- Regular maintenance – Ensure you have a well maintained tank. You should check it regularly for degradation and leaks
- Proper insulation – If your house is well insulated, heating oil conservation is easier. Good insulation means the heat is retained in the house, rather than being dispersed through the roof, windows, and walls.
- Invest in a thermostat – Use a Smart Thermostat to regulate the heat, reduce heat wastage and adjust usage when you are not home.
What Does OFTEC Stand For?
OFTEC is the Oil Firing Technical Association. Being registered with OFTEC means that the person is safe to be working on oil systems. It’s essentially gas safe for heating engineers who work on oil systems.
OFTEC registered installers are able to self-certify that their work meets Building Regulations and can carry out certain work without a building control notice. Any customer who uses an OFTEC registered installer will receive an official certificate to confirm that the work done meets the official industry standards for safety and quality.
Selecting an OFTEC registered business offers the peace of mind of knowing that any installation or maintenance work will be done by a competent technician who has been trained and inspected, rather than by someone who may be untrained and potentially incompetent.
What Are Oil Tank Regulations
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:
- Splits or cracks
- Gauges falling over or not working
- Subsidence on the base
- Sudden increase in usage of fuel
- Tanks overgrown with foliage
- Strong fuel smell