Oil storage in flood risk or exposed locations

floodOil pollution in a flood can make clean up after the water has drained away take much longer. Take action to protect your oil.

Tanks located close to water or in exposed locations

You should only position an oil storage tank in a location that’s susceptible to flood or high winds where there’s no alternative.

If your tank is in an area that’s susceptible to flooding, it should have secondary containment (a bund). A tank with top outlet will give better protection for your oil in a flood.

You also need to prevent your tank floating if flood water can rise around it. Make sure your tank is on a ground level base that’s non-combustible and impermeable. If possible have the tank installed on a platform that’s above the maximum predicted flood level. You need to consider how you will maintain and fill the tank safely. You may need a remote fill point so your tank can be filled from ground level.

Oil tank restraint

If your tank could be moved by flood waters or high winds you need to make it secure to minimise the chance of this happening.

Fit a firmly anchored tank restraint as a precautionary measure to prevent significant movement of your tank. If your tank moves it could cause the tank to fall over, weaken or break oil supply pipes and cause pollution.

One method of restraining your tank is to use 20mm galvanised ‘builder’s band’ evenly spaced over the tank and securely fixed to the tank base. The band should not be tightened against the tank surface as this will restrict natural tank movement. If it’s secured too tightly the band may chafe, cut or put undue stress on the tank.

Before you have a tank restraint fitted you should contact your tank manufacturer for advice on where it’s safe to anchor the tank.

Where can I get more advice?

For general advice on the installation of heating oil storage tanks, contact a competent person. Competent Person Scheme (CPS) operators typically offer a local technician search facility online or by phone. CPS operators can be found online at the Competent Persons Register.