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The main purpose of bunding is to protect the environment from the dangers of oil spillages and other chemicals. It works on the basic premise that if your oil storage installation happens to leak, the leaked oil will be captured in large trays, called bunds. There are two main types, “secondary containment” bunds that consist of a concrete base and secure outer walls and tanks that are double skinned or  “integrally bunded”. Integrally bunded oil storage tanks are the more frequently used option, offering built-in bunds.

When storing barrels of oil, a bunded store is generally used. As a general rule, the capacity of the bund in your bunded store or bunded storage container should be 110% capacity of the largest container you are storing. If you are storing multiple containers, your bund capacity must be either 110% of the capacity of the largest container you are storing, or 25% of the total combined volume of the containers you are storing – whichever is the larger figure.

How do you know if your oil storage installation requires bunding? There are number of considerations which stipulate a requirement for oil storage bunding:

Environmental Considerations

Oil tank bunding regulations suggests that if your new installation is located within 10 metres of the ocean, a river or a lake then your oil tank will need to be bunded. You will also have to consider bunding if your oil storage tank is located within 50 metres of a well that provides drinking water and any other area that may risk contaminating drains or groundwater.

Commercial Activity

If you’re running a commercial business and your oil storage tank has more than a 200 litre capacity, you are required to install appropriate bunding.

Private Property

If you own private property and you have an oil storage tank on site that holds more than 3,500 litres, the tank must be bunded.

Agricultural Use

If your oil storage installation is intended for agricultural use and exceeds 1,500 litres in capacity, you will require secondary containment bunding for the installation to offer a second line of defence in the event of a leak/spill.


If your tank is situated in such an area, that the vent pipe outlet cannot be seen from the fill point, then you are required to install appropriate bunding.

What are the potential consequences of unbunded oil storage?

As we have shown there are a number of considerations that you will have to think about so it is imperative that you do your research. Dealing with the possible repercussions of an oil spill is not worth thinking about. There are a number of uncapped fines that the Environmental Agency can impose on people who cause an oil spill. It is also important to note that it is not always the site owner who will pay these fines. It is the polluter who must pay! Not only will installing bunded oil storage alleviate the risk of incurring these fines but there are a number of other key benefits to consider including reducing the risk of injury to personnel, capturing and recovering valuable and expensive oil and preventing negative publicity.

Need a bunded chemical storage solution?

Are you interested in Bunded Storage? Get in touch with us today to discuss your requirements! At Safety Storage Systems, we offer high quality bunded oil storage and bunded chemical storage solutions for sale and for hire.