Fuel Tank Regulations

Bunded Oil Tanks

The single skin fuel and oil tanks commonly used throughout Ireland, unlike bunded oil tanks,  have no type of secondary containment included in most cases. This means, in the event of a spillage or leakage, an environmental pollution incident will result.

Single skin fuel tanks and oil tanks are therefore completely unsuitable for installation at any farm, commercial, industrial and institutional installations. At many sites, installing or using a Single skin fuel or oil tank where a bunded tank is legally required is a criminal offense. Single skin heating oil tanks are also generally unsuitable for installation in many domestic heating oil storage installations.

Where Not To use Single Skin Oil Tanks:

Single skin fuel or oil tanks should not be installed:

  • within 10 metres of a river, stream or ditch
  • within 10 metres of a pond, lake, canal, or the sea
  • within 10 metres of a soakaway, percolation area, septic tank, effluent treatment system
  • within 10 metres of a water storage tank, aquifer or gully
  • within 10 metres of an open drain or manhole, or where a spill could run into an open drain or manhole
  • within 50 metres of a well, borehole or spring

In general, single skin fuel or oil tanks should not be installed where a spill from the tank could reach any of the above.

Single skin fuel or oil tanks should also not be installed:

  • If the vent point is not visible from the fill point and/or an offset fill point is used
  • The tank is supplying fuel to premises other than a dwelling occupied by a single family
  • The tank is positioned within 50 metres of agricultural land
  • Any other site specific hazard exists

In the event of a leak or spillage (however caused) a pollution incident will result.

Even where it may be OK to use a single skin tank, serious consideration should be given to installing a bunded tank. Unlike a single skin tank, a bunded tank is simply a ‘tank within a tank’. The inner tank is the primary storage vessel, while the outer tank acts as a secure back-up. In the event of a spill, any surplus fuel or oil will be safely and securely contained within the outer tank and an environmental pollution incident will be averted.

Siting of Oil Tanks is governed by BS5410 and Building Regulations:

  • The minimum separation from a building is to be 1.8m and 0.76m from a boundary
  • Location within a building will require additional considerations.
  • Adequate protection from impact damage is a requirement of the regulations.
  • The use of an oil separator in surface water drainage should be considered.

GF Plant Spares, will not be responsible whatsoever for the installation of a single skin oil tank where a bunded tank is required.

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