Storing oil at your home or business

2. Storing oil at your home

You must meet building regulations if you have a new or replacement oil storage container installed at your home in England, eg to fuel your cooker or central heating.

Building regulations are different if your home is in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

If your storage container can hold 3,501 litres or more, you must follow the regulations for businesses.

Choosing someone to install your tank

You should choose someone who’s registered with a ‘Competent Person’ scheme. They can self-certify that their work complies with building regulations and can deal with building control issues, like objections.

If you don’t use someone registered with a ‘Competent Person’ scheme, you’ll have to get a Building Control Notice from your local council and arrange and pay for an inspection yourself.

Without approval you won’t have the certificates of compliance you may need when you want to sell your home.

Penalties

The person installing your tank could be prosecuted and fined if they don’t comply with building regulations.

You’re also responsible for making sure their work meets the regulations. Your local authority could make you pay for faulty work to be fixed.

Catching oil leaks and spills

The person installing your tank will do a risk assessment, and they’ll let you know if your tank has to have secondary containment (a ‘bund’). The bund must:

  • hold 110% of the tank’s capacity
  • be impermeable to oil and water

You’ll need a bund if your tank’s in any of the following places:

  • where oil spills could run into an open drain or a loose manhole cover
  • where the tank vent pipes can’t be seen when the tank’s being filled, eg because the delivery tanker is parked too far away
  • within 10 metres of coastal waters or inland fresh waters like lakes or streams
  • within 50 metres of a drinking water source, eg wells, boreholes or springs
  • where oil spills could run over hard ground and reach coastal waters, inland fresh waters or a drinking water source
  • in the inner zone of groundwater source protection zone 1

You’ll also need a bund if your tank can hold more than 2,500 litres of oil.

Your oil storage container must have a sticker in a prominent position that tells you how to look after your oil and what to do if you have a spill. The person installing your new tank will put this on - but you can find out how to order a new sticker.