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PART 2 – FAQ’s On Oil Storage Tanks

Picture of oil tank

If an oil storage tank is removed from its base temporarily, for example to repair the base and piers, would I be allowed to reinstall the original oil storage tank as it was before or would I have to treat this as a new installation?

You can reinstall the original tank, but OFTEC recommends that all oil storage tank installations comply with regulatory requirements and industry guidance. The installation of a ‘new’ or ‘replacement’ oil storage tank would fall within the scope of current building regulations.

Why is the support given by the oil storage tank base so important?

It is important to give domestic oil storage tanks, whether of steel or plastic, stable bases and supports. This makes them safe and will protect the environment.

If an oil storage tank is inadequately supported the oil storage tank itself can be weakened leading to the eventual failure of the oil storage tank and escape of the stored fuel. During the life of an installation, an oil storage tank base will need to provide continual structural support even though ground conditions may alter from season to season and year to year.

What should the oil storage tank base be made of and what dimensions does it need to be?

To comply with British Standards, the base material should be one of the following laid on a hardcore base to give an imperforate base:

  • concrete at least 100mm thick
  • paving stones at least 50mm thick
  • stonework at least 50mm thick

The overall size of the base should be larger than the oil storage tank and any integral oil storage tank bund, so that when the oil storage tank is installed, the base has a clear projection of a minimum of 300mm around all sides of the oil storage tank.

Why is the tank base required to extend 300mm around the perimeter of the oil storage tank?

The fire protection provided by the base is to help prevent the tank itself from becoming overgrown and to help protect against fire spreading across the ground to the contained fuel from another source. If the tank is raised on piers, the platform supporting the tank should be sized to sufficiently support the tank. Reference should be made to the tank manufacturer’s installation instructions.

What is the remote fill pipe for?

Remote fill pipes are provided for oil storage tanks sited more than 30m from a road, or where there is restricted access generally. For domestic installations this is usually a 50mm steel pipe connected to the tank and routed to an accessible position. The pipe should incorporate a screw cap at the fill point, a gate valve, a non-return valve and be adequately supported.

Due to increased risk of spillage during filling, the tank it serves should have secondary containment, such as an integrally bunded oil storage tank, and should be fitted with a device to stop it being overfilled. An audible overfill alarm is also recommended.

My oil supplier has refused to deliver oil to my underground oil storage tank until I have a report in place confirming that my tank is in reasonable condition to safely store oil. Can an OFTEC Registered Technician provide this report?

Most OFTEC registered technicians are unlikely to be able to offer this service. Underground oil storage tanks should only be assessed by persons who have specialist knowledge and possess appropriate equipment to conduct such work. Contact OFTEC’s technical helpline for assistance in locating a suitable specialist.

What can I do to protect my oil tank from theft?

Click here for our previous article on preventing oil tank theft.

Source: OFTEC

Whether you require a new storage tank, the replacement of an existing tank, or simply some friendly advice, Barton Petroleum offer a range of products and services. Click here to find out more about our range of oil tanks.