Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
To comply with the Regulations on Oil Storage you must ensure all pipework, above and below ground, is correctly positioned and properly maintained. There is a particular risk of oil leaks from poorly fitted pipes. Ideally, pipes should be above ground.
You must locate all pipework and fittings (ancillary equipment) within the secondary containment systems (SCS). This includes valves, filters, sight gauges and vent pipes.
Where a fill pipe is not within the SCS, you must use a drip tray to catch any oil spilled when the container is being filled. You should make sure this drip try is clean and empty before each delivery.
You must also:
You must protect metal fill pipes, draw-off pipes or overflow pipes from corrosion and in Scotland do not use pipes that are permeable to hydrocarbon vapours.
In Northern Ireland you must position any vent pipe, tap or valve through which oil can be discharged from the tank into the open so any spilt oil is retained within the SCS.
If pipework is underground, you must ensure that it:
Clearly mark the route of underground pipework on the ground and site plans to avoid accidental damage and help in servicing and maintenance.
You may decide to fit underground fill or draw-off pipes with a leak detection device. If you use a continuous leak detection device, make sure it's in working order and test it regularly and at least every five years in Scotland. Keep a record of the test results and any maintenance work completed.
If you don't use a continuous leak detection system you must test underground pipework:
Avoid spills from deliveries and dispensing oil
If a screw fitting or other fixed coupling is fitted to the tank, you must maintain it in good condition and use it when filling the tank.
If you can’t see the tank and any vent pipe from where the filling process is controlled, you must fit an automatic overfill prevention device. This could include an alarm or a fail safe device.
If you use a permanently attached, flexible pipe to deliver oil from the tank to a container or delivery pump, you must :
When a delivery pipe is not in use you must ensure that it either:
You must ensure that any pump is:
In Northern Ireland if you store oil for agricultural use on a farm, for example to produce heat or power, there are separate regulations that govern how you must store it.
In Scotland the Regulations for Oil Storage apply to oil stored on farms.
Even if the Oil Storage Regulations do not apply to your oil storage, you should still consider meeting the requirements of the regulations.
NIEA and SEPA Water Pollution Hotline 0800 80 70 60
Pipework and fittings for oil storage
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