If you answer YES to any of these questions then a bunded tank is required.

  • Tank capacity in excess of 2500 litres?
  • Tank within 10 metres of controlled water (e.g. drainage ditches, surface water drains and septic tanks)?
  • Tank located where spillage could run into an open drain or to a loose fitting manhole cover?
  • Tank within 50 metres of a borehole or spring?
  • Tank over hard ground or hard surfaces ground that could enable spillage run-off to reach controlled water?
  • Tank located in a position where the vent pipe outlet is not visible from the fill point?
  • Tank supplying heating oil to a building other than a single family dwelling?
  • Tank located within an England and Wales Source Protection Zone 1 (put your postcode in at The Environment Agency and then select the groundwater from the other topics from this area?
  • Any other potential hazard individual to the site?


Also be aware that all single skin plastic tanks now only carry a 2 year warranty as standard and most bunded plastic tanks still have a 10 year warranty so this is worth taking into consideration even if you answer no to all of the above questions.

The fire protection of tank must also be considered and fire protection may be required if your tank is:-

  • Located within 1.8 meters of a non-fire rated building or structure (less than 30 mins) this includes sheds, garages and outhouses?
  • Located within 760mm of a non-fire rated boundary (less than 30 mins)?
  • Located within 1.8 meters of non-fire rated eaves (less than 30 mins)?
  • Located within 1.8 meters of any opening on a fire rated building (e.g. window or door)?
  • Located within 1.8 metres of a boiler flue terminatiom?


Your oil tank MUST also be on a fire proof base which extends 300mm around all the sides of the tank, unless it is against a fire rated structure or wall. If this is not possible fire protection is required.

This is intended for information purposes only and may be subject to change. Full guidance should be sought from a competent person or your local building control department.

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