By Brook, James
09/07/2013

Fuel oil storage regulations - what do farmers need to know?

Just as with heating oil, there are specific guidelines for the storage of fuel oil for agricultural purposes. The Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) Regulations 2010, or SSAFO as they are more commonly known, apply to farms where more than 1,500 litres of fuel oil are stored.

Fuel oil store location

The fuel oil store system, including drums and tanks, must not be located within 10m of coastal waters or inland freshwaters, which the fuel oil could potentially enter.

Drum and tank protection

Each drum or tank must have a secondary containment or bund that is impermeable to oil and water. Where this is new it should have a life expectancy, with maintenance, of 20 years.

For a single tank this must be able to contain 110% of the capacity. For multi-tanks this should be able to contain 110% of the largest tank or 25% of the total volume of tanks stored in that area, whichever is larger.

For drums this should be able to contain a minimum of 25% of the total volume that can be stored in the tank at any one time.

Features contained within the bund

All oil container features should be contained within the bund, and this includes the following: fixed or flexible draw-off delivery pipes, sight gauges, shut-off valves and tank drain-down valves.

Valves and taps that can act as an outlet to discharge oil should be contained within the bund, directed downwards and locked when not in use.

Fuel oil store changes

If you are planning to make any significant changes to your fuel oil storage, such as enlarging it or reconstructing it, you must inform the Environment Agency in writing a minimum of 14 days before it is first used. Ideally it is best to inform the Environment Agency at the design stage.

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