OFTEC issues Underground Oil Tank Warning

28th May 2009
OFTEC The Oil Firing Technical AssociationThe Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) has issued a warning to heating oil tank installers that the direct installation of Underground Single Skin Storage Tanks does not satisfy the requirements of the Environment Alliance's Pollution Prevention Guidelines PPG27.

Issued jointly by the Environment Agency in England and Wales, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, PPG27 states, "Regardless of product storage the Agency recommends that all new Underground Storage Tanks should:

* Be double skinned
* Have an interstitial monitoring device with automatic alarms

According to OFTEC, the PPGs are guidelines and thus are not legally binding. However, they can be used in a court in the event of a civil claim and are generally accepted as constituting established best practice.

The Association has advised its Registered Technicians they should not install single skin oil storage tanks underground - unless they are located within a dedicated underground reinforced concrete oil tank chamber, i.e. with a chamber access lid that facilitates or enables visual inspection of the tank and between the tank and tank chamber walls.

OilFiredUp.com spoke with online oil tank reseller TankDepot.co.uk. "As an environmentally oil tank supplier, we discontinued the supply of Single Skin Underground Heating Oil Tanks in 2006 and indeed we would not recommend the installation of an uncontained Single Skin Oil Tank either aboveground or below ground.

"At most fuel and oil installations throughout the United Kingdom today, the installation of a Single Skin Oil Tank is illegal and a Bunded Tank instead should be installed. Unlike environmentally preferred Bunded Tanks, old-fashioned Single Skin Tanks incorporate no protection against pollution whatsoever. Therefore in the event of a spill, an environmental pollution incident will almost certainly result."

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Article Last Updated 28th May 2009
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