Green Heating Oil Tank

What is a Bunded Oil Tank & is it Compulsory for Your Home?

Oil tanks are a crucial component for many households relying on oil for heating purposes. Among the various types available, bunded oil tanks stand out for their safety features and added protection. But what exactly is a bunded oil tank, and why might it be necessary for your home? Read on to find out.

What is a Bunded Oil Tank?

A bunded oil tank is a container designed with two layers or “tanks” instead of one. The inner tank holds the heating oil, while the outer tank provides an additional protective layer. The space between these tanks, known as the bund, contains any leaked oil in case of a rupture or failure in the inner tank.

Benefits of Installing a Bunded Heating Oil Tank

Investing in a bunded heating oil tank offers numerous advantages, making them a sensible choice for homeowners. While initial costs might be higher compared to non-bunded alternatives, the long-term benefits far outweigh the expenses.

Preventing Environmental Damage

Oil ranks among the leading causes of pollution. Spillage can wreak havoc on local environments, polluting waterways, destroying natural habitats, and endangering trees protected by preservation orders.

In England, groundwater plays a crucial role as it supplies one-third of our drinking water and helps maintain the flow in numerous rivers. Some regions in southern England rely on groundwater for up to 80% of their tap water. Protecting these sources is key to ensure safe drinking water, requiring measures to reduce the risk of oil contamination.

Bunded tanks significantly reduce the likelihood of oil spillages compared to single skin oil tanks. Therefore, bunded heating oil tanks offer a proactive solution to safeguard against environmental damage.

Avoiding Large Environmental Clean-Up Costs

Most insurance providers don’t cover oil spills for policyholders. If you opt for a single-layered tank without built-in protection, the chances of a leak rise significantly. Should a leak happen, any savings from choosing a cheaper single skin tank could vanish. Additionally, you might face hefty cleanup costs to address the environmental impact.

Boosting Peace of Mind Through Extended Warranties

Although single skin tanks come at a considerably lower cost compared to bunded oil tanks, their warranties are notably shorter. Typically, a bunded oil tank carries a 10-year warranty, whereas a single skin tank offers only a two-year warranty. The extended warranty of a bunded oil tank ensures added peace of mind, even when not mandated by law.

Reducing Insurance Premiums

From a homeowner’s perspective, installing a bunded oil tank protects against potential property damage. Insurance policies may also require or incentivise the use of bunded tanks due to their risk mitigation capabilities, potentially leading to reduced premiums.

Learn about our high-quality domestic heating oil tanks which are EcoSafe and bunded as standard.

Are Bunded Oil Tanks Compulsory in the UK?

In the UK, the use of bunded oil tanks isn’t a legal requirement for all properties. However, we highly recommend these tanks due to their enhanced safety features and compliance with environmental standards. Specific situations or certain conditions often require bunded tanks. These conditions might vary depending on the size of the tank, the property’s location, and environmental considerations.

It’s crucial to verify with your local authority to confirm whether bunded tanks are compulsory for your specific situation.

Alternatively, get in touch with our local oil tank installation specialists who are happy to help.

What Are the Regulations for Bunded Oil tanks?

Households storing under 2500 litres of oil might not always need a bunded oil tank. The necessity usually depends on pollution risk. Yet, there are cases requiring a bunded tank in residential settings:

  • Potential oil spills reaching open drains, manholes, or environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Proximity to coastal or inland fresh waters within 10 metres, or within 50 metres of a drinking water source (e.g., wells, boreholes).
  • Supplying heating oil to non-single-family buildings (e.g., flats, holiday houses).
  • Presence within Environment Agency groundwater protection zones (SPZ) or near other environmental hazards.

Assessment of the need for a bunded tank is crucial, especially in scenarios posing pollution risks or falling within specified zones. You can find additional information on SPZ zones at

Key Takeaways

Whether essential or not for your domestic situation, bunded oil tanks prove advantageous for storing heating oil. Prioritising safety and reducing environmental impact are pivotal factors in choosing the right type of tank for your property.

Before installing or replacing your heating oil tank, consult professionals and acquaint yourself with local regulations to make an informed decision. Remember: opting for a bunded oil tank isn’t just a precaution. It’s a responsible choice for a safer, more environmentally conscious future.

Explore our guide on heating oil tank replacements carried out by our OFTEC registered engineers.

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