Why you need to know more about your oil tank
Oil is a valuable fuel used for heating and transport. It’s important to store and use it responsibly to protect your health and safety and to reduce the risk of pollution.
Environmental considerations and concerns
Every years, leaks and spills from oil storage tanks and pipework cause many pollution incidents. Split oil can pollute streams, rivers and, if it soaks through the soil and rock, groundwater supplies. In Ireland and the UK, public water supplies come from rivers and underground water so we must protect them from pollution.
Cleaning up oil spills is difficult and can be very expensive costing thousands of euro. Dealing with a spill will cause you and maybe your neighbours a great deal of inconvenience. Make sure you have sufficient insurance cover.
It’s against the law to cause pollution so you’ll have to take action to clean up any serious spill or leak. You r insurance company may not pay if the leak has been occurring over time, so ensure your tank & pipework is checked regularly and monitor how much oil you use so you can spot any sudden changes.
Getting to know you oil tank and fittings
The main purpose of an oil storage tank is to store fuel in a suitable and safe way. Tanks come in all shapes and sizes and are today usually made from plastic. There are extra tank fittings available for tanks which promote ease of use and environmental safety, some of which are listed below.
Contents Gauge (Apollo Gauge)
This device indicates the quantity of oil in the tank and can be manual, visual or wireless. The reading may be seen at the tank, next to the tank or even remote location (eg in the kitchen).
Overfill alarm/prevention device (Apollo Bund Alert)
This device helps prevent oil spillage by overfilling by sounding an alarm or giving a visual warning or automatically stopping the oil delivery to the tank. This is especially applicable if the tank is filled from a point where it can’t be seen during delivery (remote refilling).
Bund (also called secondary containment)
A secondary containment area around the tank designed to contain any loss of fuel to prevent pollution. It can be manufactured as part of an integrally bunded tank or retrofit to an existing tank and should hold at least 110% of the tanks contents. Your tank may need to have secondary containment by law depending on where it is and what it is used for, but, to protect the environment, you should seriously consider the option, even if it is not a legal requirement.
Regulations (e.g. oil storage & building regulations)
There are different sets of legislation that cover oil storage systems; they are all designed to reduce the risk of oil pollution and ensure the health and safety of people around them. Different legislation applies depending on where your tank is located, e.g.: Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland England, Wales, Scotland, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man etc.
You must make sure you know which requirements apply to your tank. Tank inspection
Get a qualified professional to inspect you tank system at least once a year. Use form below to record inspections.
Replacing a tank
When replacing you oil storage tank, get advice from a suitably qualified competent tank installer. They can help you identify features on the site which will dictate what can be installed and how to achieve compliance with current legislation.Click here for a list of installers in your area.
Choose a tank that has been manufactured to a recognised relevant European, British or industry standard (for example OFTEC standard OFST100, EN13341). These show that a tank has been manufactured and tested to strict quality standards.
All Carbery tanks comply with the above standards.
Oil storage tanks should be sited to minimise risk of pollution. A suitably qualified competent tank installer can perform a risk assessment, in accordance with regional building regulatory requirements, to identify hazards such as nearby watercourses, loose fitting manhole covers, wells or bore holes. Any of these may mean you need secondary containment (bund) for your tanks; this may be a legal requirement.