What You Need to Know About Oil Storage Regulations

Oil Storage Regulations (OSR) require anyone in Wales who has the capacity to store more than 200 litres of oil (44 gallons) for their home or business to install an integrally-bunded tank to a required standard for preventing leakage or pollution.

Since 15 March 2016 all new or replacement tanks have had to comply with the regulations from the date of installation.

Existing tanks at significant risk (within 10 metres of surface water or wetland, or 50 metres of a borehole or well) have had to comply with the regulations since the 15th March 2018. 

Existing tanks which are not at a significant risk to water will have to comply by 15 March 2020.

The regulations cover all types of oil (except bitumen) and liquids including petrol, diesel, vegetable oils, bio-fuels,  synthetic and mineral oils, and waste oil.  

ALL domestic oil storage tanks i.e. for heating oil are exempt until the tanks are replaced.  

A farmhouse with occasional office use is categorised as domestic and is exempt until replaced, whereas buildings converted into holiday lets are considered as business and therefore must comply.

The OSR apply to the storage of any oil on farms including the storage of oil used for heating and/or power on premises as defined by the Agriculture Act 1947, therefore red diesel tanks must comply with the regulations.  Oil in use within farm machinery is exempt.

Oil stored within a building must also comply with the regulations. However, in some cases, such buildings could serve as its own secondary containment (e.g. impermeable walls and sleeping policemen for preventing losses).

For one tank, mobile bowser or Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC), the secondary containment must be able to hold 110% of the volume that the container can hold and be able to withstand a total failure of the full tank.

Further information is available here on the NRW website.  Please contact your local FUW office for any further assistance.


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