Find out about ancillary equipment, pipework and pumps, and the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001.
Can an isolating valve and filter be outside the secondary containment?
Yes. The isolating valve and filter can be outside the containment if the valve has a fixed draw-off from an integrally bunded prefabricated tank. In this case they'd be regarded as ancillary to the down-stream equipment. The isolating valve needs to be accessible for routine maintenance and in an emergency, so can be outside the prefabricated system.
The isolating valve for single skinned tanks within a constructed secondary containment system should be within the secondary containment.
We recommend that the isolating valve is put inside the secondary containment if possible.
What is a mechanical joint in underground pipework?
This is any joint where two or more pieces of pipe have been put together using a fitting. The fitting must be attached to the ends of both pipes, which can be taken apart.
Compression and threaded fittings are examples of mechanical joints.
Mechanical joints in below ground pipework must be installed in a place that is accessible for inspection. The pipework must be tested for leaks before it is first used, and then every five years.
Welded, braised or soldered joints or continuous pipework made from metal or plastic aren’t mechanical joints.
For further information see: British Standard 5410 part 1: 1997 section 8.2, Code of Practice for Oil Firing.
How can I test my pipework for leaks?
The regulations say that underground pipework must be tested for leaks every five or 10 years depending on whether there are mechanical joints.
If the pipework manufacturer's test instructions are not available, see British Standard 5410 Parts 1 and 2. These have information about pipework pressure-testing for oil firing installations. A competent person should carry out pressure testing.
Pipework made from plastic, copper and steel will need different types of testing, as will different sized pipes. We recommend you adopt the same method used for non-oil firing applications, such as refuelling facilities.
How can I show my underground pipework complies with regulation 4(3)(b)(i) - no mechanical joints, unless they're at a place which is accessible for inspection?
Existing oil firing systems should have been installed in accordance with the relevant sections of British Standard 5410 which are site specific, or with the OFTEC home guide:
These standards stress the importance of laying pipes in accessible ducts where possible.
If you can't show that pipes have been installed as above, further investigation may be needed, taking into account industry standard lengths of pipework and pipe accessibility.
Does my tank need an overfill prevention device?
The regulations say, that if the tank and vent pipe can't be seen from where the filling operation is controlled, then an automatic overfill prevention device must be fitted to the tank.
Fixed tank probes, that send a signal to the point where delivery is controlled, are acceptable.
We encourage the use of fail to safe overfill prevention devices and overfill warning alarms.
What is meant by a screw-fitting for tank filling being in good condition?
The regulations don't define good condition. We think it sensible to consider whether a fitting is fit for purpose in the broadest sense. You should make sure the screw thread is usable and that deliveries to the tank using the fitting can be made safely and securely.
Using the screw fitting should not increase the risk of oil spillage or jeopardise operator health and safety. This includes risks from working at height. British Standard 5410 Part 2:1978 section 23 states that a safe working height for fill points is about one metre from the ground.
You should discuss the suitability of the tank's screw fitting with your oil delivery company.
Does my pump have to be within the secondary containment?
We don't consider pumps to be equipment ancillary to the container.
However, it's good practice to make sure that any oil leak would be contained within secondary containment, for example a bund or drip tray, and could not cause pollution.
Pumps for oil with a flash point below 32°C should never be in the secondary containment because of the risk of explosion.
If the pump is on or near the tank, for example where it is small and mounted on top of the tank, it should be positioned above the level of 110 per cent secondary containment height. Most pumps are not designed to work when submerged, but should not be so high that it can not be operated safely.
Check regulation 4(7) for specific requirements for pumps used with fixed tanks and regulation 5(3) for separate requirements for pumps used with mobile bowsers.You will find the regulations listed in Annex C of the following document:
What kind of tap or valve can I have at the delivery end of a flexible pipe?
Ideally you should use a trigger nozzle with an automatic shut off system similar to those used at petrol filling-stations.
If you have a trigger nozzle without an automatic shutoff, it must not be capable of being fixed in the open position.
Nozzles with lever shut-off valves must not be used, they do not comply with these regulations.
What do I need to know about fill point drip-trays?
Ideally your tank fill point should be within the secondary containment and self drain to the storage tank. If not you will need a shut-off valve on the fill pipe at the screw fitting end. You must also have drip tray for use during deliveries to the tank.
It is alright to have a removable drip-tray but it must be used during delivery.
If you are using a permanent drip tray, the fill-point and tray should ideally be in a cabinet (or other protection) to keep rain, dust and dirt out. The cabinet should be kept locked to stop unauthorised use.
Talk to your delivery company about drip tray positioning, type and procedures.
What capacity does my tank fill point drip-tray need to be?
The drip tray should be big enough to hold oil that could be lost when the fill point shut off valve has been closed and the delivery hose is disconnected. This will typically be less than five litres but calculate the exact volume for your pipework and allow extra capacity for a safety margin.
We recommend that you talk to your oil delivery company about this.
What can I use as a fill point drip tray?
You can use any container that is specifically designed or manufactured to do the job.
It must be strong enough, made of oil resistant material and, ideally, have handles for lifting, emptying and cleaning.
Whose responsibility is it to empty my fill point drip-tray?
A tank owner is responsible for emptying a drip tray or arranging to have it emptied.
The drip-tray should be clean, free of water, debris and oil before delivery and any oil should be removed immediately after a delivery.
If the drip-tray is clean it may be possible to empty oil into the tank but only if it's safe and easy to do so without risk of spillage.
Your oil delivery company may be able to take the oil away or provide other services; you should discuss this with them.
The disposal and carriage of waste oil has strict legal controls, especially if you're producing this as a business. You must find out what applies to your own circumstances.