Storing agricultural fuel oil

Oil storage is highly regulated within the UK. It is a legal requirement to store fuel in a safe, responsible and environmentally friendly way, since even a small oil spillage can devastate the local environment.


You’re responsible for making sure you meet the rules if you control, manage or look after a farm or an installation on a property, eg as a:

·         farmer or land manager

·         tenant farmer - unless you can prove someone else, eg the leaseholder, is jointly or wholly responsible


You must follow these rules if you both:

·         build a new agricultural fuel oil store or make substantial changes to an existing one

·         store over 1,500 litres of agricultural fuel oil on your farm.


Other rules may apply if you store fuel oil:

·         for domestic purposes

·         for another business you run from your farm

·         in a tanker temporarily for transportation on roads or around your farm

·         in mobile browsers or drums temporarily stored alongside mobile plant.


Wherever fuel oil is stored on your land you’re responsible for taking precautions to prevent and contain spillages - eg by fitting an alarm to alert you to overfilling.


Where to store fuel oil:

You can store fuel oil in one location or spread across your farm. It must be stored in a tank or drum that meets ISO9000. (Check the mannual that came with your tank or drum, or ask the manufacturer)

No part of your installation can be within 10 metres of inland or coastal waters - including yard drains, dry ditches and land drains.


Secondary containment:

A tank or drum must be surrounded by a secondary containment structure or ‘bund’.

The bund must:

·         have a life-expectancy of at least 20 years with maintenance

·         be impermeable to oil and water (walls and base), with no drain-down pipe

·         contain every part of the tank, with taps and valves directed down and locked shut when not in use

·         contain delivery pipes that are permanently attached to the primary tank, which must be fitted with self-closing taps or valves and locked inside when not in use.

If you buy a combined storage tank and bund system you must make sure it will meet the regulations when in use.


Further information, guidance notes and notification forms may be obtained HERE.  


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