Domestic Regulations

Environmental Hazards:

Generally tanks are either single skin or bunded. A bunded tank is a tank within a tank and provides the most environmental protection as the outer skin  should contain the oil in the event of a spillage. If the answer to the following questions is “yes” then you will have no option but to install a bunded tank to comply with the current regulations:

Is the tank capacity in excess of 2500 litres?

Is the tank within 10 metres of controlled water?

Controlled water includes rivers, streams, lakes, canals, coastal waters, estuaries, and groundwater. This means all water, which is below the surface of the ground in the saturation zone and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil, and any ditches, soakaways, septic tanks and gullies, which could pollute groundwater or reach controlled water through groundwater.

Is the tank located where spillage could run into an open drain or manhole cover?

Identify whether the oil storage tank is located in a position where, if there was an oil spill or leak, could the oil storage tanks contents reach open drains or loose fitting manhole covers (Not sealed or screwed down manhole covers)

Is the tank within 50m of a borehole or spring (including wells)?

For information on the location of water extraction sites (which are not visible) contact the local authority and regional environmental authority.

Is the tank over hard ground or hard surfaced ground that could enable spillage run-off to reach controlled water?

Basically will an oil spill travel over a tarmac or a concrete surface which slopes down to reach a drain or other source of controlled water?

Is the tank located in a position where the vent pipe outlet is not visible from the fill pipe?

Can the tanker driver see the tanks vent when filling the tank? If the tank is fitted with a remote fill pipe, generally the tank will need to be bunded. Being able to see the vent will alert him to the potential danger of overfilling the tank.

Is the tank supplying heating oil to a building other than a single family dwelling?

For example, an on site office.

Is there any other potential hazard individual to the site?

Identify any other potential hazards, which you may feel constitute a pollution risk. Additional enquiries may be necessary to regional environmental agencies to identify hidden or unseen potential environmental hazards, i.e. where the site is located over a ground water source or an aquifer.

If the answer to all of the above questions is “no”, then you can legally install a single skin tank. However you may wish to consider the bunded tank to prevent pollution occurring when the tank does eventually fail. Also bunded tanks have a 10 year warranty and single skin tanks have a 2 year warranty.

Fire Hazard:

The following regulations apply to heating oil tanks below 3500 litres in capacity. Should you require a tank with a larger capacity then please view the commercial regulations.

Fire hazards relate to the siting of the tank and all potential fire risks within the close vicinity of the tank. If the answer is “yes” to the questions below, fire protection of no less than 30 minutes extending 300mm longer than each side of the oil storage tank and 300mm higher than the highest part of the oil storage tank is required.

Is the oil tank located within 1.8m of a non-fire rated building or structure (less than 30 minutes)?

This includes timber garden sheds and any wall which doesn’t have a minimum 30 minutes fire resistance.

Is the oil tank located within 760mm of a non-fire rated boundary (less than 30 minutes)?

If the tank is against a stone boundary wall, the wall should exceed 300mm beyond the height and ends of the tank and have 30 minutes fire resistance for it to be considered fire rated.

Is the oil tank located within 1.8m of non-fire rated eaves?

Is the oil tank located within 1.8m of construction opening in a building (window/door)?

Is the oil tank located within 1.8m of a flue termination?

Is the oil tank located on a base which does not extend a minimum of 300mm around all sides of the tank?

If the existing base does not extend 300mm on all sides of the tank it will need to be extended so that it is 300mm larger than the tank on all sides. The only exception to the base rule is where the side and/or end of the base abuts a fire rated structure, such as a building, barriers or boundary, but these must extend 300mm beyond the heights and ends of the tank. In these circumstances the base need only extend 100mm from the tank to the fire rated structure. Any exposed sides or ends should still be extended by 300mm.

Please note that these regulations apply to externally located tanks only. Tanks located inside a building should be bunded and contained within a fireproof chamber. For more information on installing tanks internally please either contact us or visit www.oftec.org

Prior to installing an oil storage tank an OFTEC TI/133D form (based upon the above information) should be completed by a competent, qualified technician. As part of our tank installation quotation we always complete this assessment.

The most cost effective way to install the new tank is to position it so that it complies without the need for fire protection!