What Are Bunded Oil Tanks?

Low Profile 4 Drum Spill Pallet

An oil bund is designed to ensure that potentially dangerous, flammable, or toxic liquids can be safely and securely stored. If you’re storing fuel for example, a bunded oil tank will prevent any of that fuel from leaking out and causing damage, pollution or accidents.

In the UK, an oil bund is often a legal health and safety requirement when industrial quantities of fuel or other hazardous liquids are being stored or transported. If you’d like to know more about what an oil bund is, the expert team at ITP Packaging are here to explain more.

What Is a Bunded Oil Tank?

A bunded oil tank, or oil bund, is best described as a ‘tank within a tank’. Specific designs and sizes can vary, but in all cases a bunded oil tank has two separate spaces.

There’s an inner storage tank, where the oil, fuel or other liquid is held. This inner storage tank acts as the primary storage area for the liquid, and it’s held within an outer tank that’s designed to only be used in emergencies.

The outer tank exists as a fail-safe mechanism. It’s not used for storage, but is designed to contain any spills if the inner tank is compromised or damaged. This is what’s known as a ‘sump space’, and it needs to be able to hold 110 per cent of the total liquid held within the inner tank.

An industrial bunded oil tank is generally designed to hold large quantities of potentially hazardous liquids, and is manufactured from robust, long lasting and non-reactive materials suitable for fuel storage.

An oil bund can also exist in the much simpler form of a polyethylene spill pallet, which is designed to provide a ‘sump space’ for steel drums or other industrial storage products. These perform the same function as a bunded oil tank, providing a failsafe in the event of spills and accidents.

What Are the Benefits of Bunded Tanks?

A bunded tank, or any variant that provides a similar ‘sump space’, offers a number of benefits to anyone storing liquids.

They are effective at stopping spills, preventing accidents and avoiding pollution. These are particularly necessary when storing hazardous liquids, such as oil or fuel.

The most important benefits of bunded tanks include:

  • Improved health and safety
  • Contains spills and leaks
  • Reduces the chance of accidents and injuries
  • Reduces the chance of contamination
  • Reduces the chance of pollution
  • Avoids the need for costly clean-ups
  • Avoids wasting stored liquids
  • Meets legal requirements

How Do I Know If My Oil Tank Is Bunded?

If you are purchasing an oil tank from new, or even second-hand, you will be able to ask before installation if the tank is bunded.

Due to the number of health and safety regulations surrounding these types of tank (as they are primarily used to store fuel) it should be readily apparent if you are purchasing a single or double tank.

If a large industrial-sized oil tank has been installed below ground or in a difficult-to-reach location and you are unaware if it is bunded or not, you should speak directly to the manufacturers. If you are unsure, do not use the oil tank for storage as you may be breaking the law.

What Are the Regulations for Bunded Oil Tanks?

The outer tank of a bunded oil tank must legally be able to hold 110 per cent of the total capacity of liquid that can be held within the inner tank. This ensures that in the event of an accident, all the liquid stored can be contained.

In terms of oil or fuel storage, there are several legal regulations that you will also need to familiarise yourself with. For example, if you intend to store 200+ litres of fuel, you are legally required to store it in a bunded oil tank for health and safety reasons.

You will also need to understand any specific health and safety regulations and requirements that need to be met in the workplace, including carrying out assessments and having emergency plans in place should there be an accident.

Contact ITP Packaging to Find Out More About Bunded Oil Tanks

ITP Packaging stocks a comprehensive range of industrial packaging products, and can provide you with the expert advice needed to keep your workplace health and safety compliant.

If you need more information on regulations relating to an oil bund or bunded oil tanks, or if you need assistance selecting the best products for your business, our experienced team is here to help.

Contact ITP Packaging today to find out more.

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