How to maintain your oil tank

All you need to know about your oil tank!

Oil is toxic and harmful to the environment – prevention is better than cure, and keeping your oil tank in good condition is important. The Environment Agency, together with OFTEC and the FPS (the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers), has produced a guide to looking after your above-ground oil storage tank and avoiding polution.

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How to maintain your oil tank

All you need to know about your oil tank!

Oil is toxic and harmful to the environment – prevention is better than cure, and keeping your oil tank in good condition is important. The Environment Agency, together with OFTEC and the FPS (the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers), has produced a guide to looking after your above-ground oil storage tank and avoiding polution. Click here to download their PDF guide.

Tanks come in many shapes and sizes and are usually manufactured from steel or plastic.

A damaged tank can present you with huge costs for repairs, replacement, and even fines for spillages and leaks. A small amount of domestic heating oil can cause a huge amount of damage to the environment, which can threaten wildlife and their habitat, or even human life.


At Northern Energy, we take our responsibility to make sure we deliver a greener energy very seriously. One of our engineers would be happy to come and check your tank if you have any concerns, or our drivers can offer you advice when they deliver your domestic heating oil. However, it is important you check your tank regularly – we would recommend once a month, and each time you order your fuel.

Simple steps to take care of your tank:

  • Inspect your tank regularly for corrosion, damage, interference or for signs of a leak. Check for bulges, deep scratches, cracks, discolouration or rust – remember if your tank is metal, it can rust from the inside out. Look for any oil that may be leaking from pipes, valves and seams.
  • Check regularly to make sure the lid is tightly closed to stop water getting in.
  • Make sure the tank is accessible for delivery drivers, maintenance and repairs. Cutting back branches and removing obstacles will help to prevent your tank from getting damaged.
  • Check the tank base for cracks or signs of subsidence.
  • If your tank is bunded, check the bund for liquid or rubbish.

Our Boiler Servicing package includes an annual check of your tank.

If you have a metal tank consider changing to a plastic tank as they are more robust and won’t corrode, causing a leak.


Do not replace a tank yourself – this is a skilled and complicated process which needs to be carried out by a fully qualified OFTEC registered engineer. If you need any help or advice, please call the Northern Energy team on 01423 770 666.

There are strict rules and regulations regarding oil storage, which are enforced by the Environment Agency. For more information please click here

Need to replace your tank?

We can put you in touch with a qualified OFTEC engineer who will provide you with a free site survey and quotation for installation of a new tank, and removal of the old one.

Please call our sales team on 01423 770 666 for more information.

Tank Regulations

The Fuel Storage Regulations are there to protect the environment and to protect you and your home.
Here are a few common questions answered:

Q. What regulations affect domestic fuel storage?

The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001.

Q. To which sites do they apply?

Private dwellings storing over 3500 litres but it should be noted that Building Regulations reduce this to 2500 litres.

Q. What is the timescale?

The timescale for The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 was 1st September 2005, whereby all relevant domestic installations affected must be bunded.

Q. How can I ensure that a bund complies with the regulations?

Install an integrally bunded tank (OFST100). Alternatively, you could build a masonry or concrete bund that complies with the stringent requirements of the Pollution Prevention Guidance notes PPG 2 (above ground oil storage tanks) and PPG 26 (oil drum storage) issued by the Environment Agency. Masonry and concrete bunds are covered by Ciria Report 163.
The Titan Environmental bunded range of EcoSafe tanks will meet all your regulatory needs in one easy step.

Q. If I install the wrong type of tank now, must it be changed?

Yes. It must be replaced with a bunded tank, or be bunded straight away.

Q. Where else should a bunded tank be installed?

When on completion of the OFTEC form TI/133 (risk assessment) by an OFTEC qualified engineer, your tank is deemed to need bunding. See the checks below:

  • Tank capacity in excess of 2500 litres
  • Tank within 10 metres of controlled water
  • Tank located where a spillage could run into an open drain or to a loose fitting manhole cover
  • Tank within 50 metres of a borehole or spring
  • Tank over hard ground or hard-surfaced ground that could enable spillage run-off to reach controlled water
  • Tank located in a position where the vent pipe outlet is not visible from the fill point
  • Tank supplying heating oil to a building other than a single family dwelling

Looking after our customers is what we do best.

Please contact our sales team with any queries on 01423 770 666, or visit the Titan website if you would like to be put in touch with a Titan Accredited Installer for an oil storage tank inspection. For more information about tanks and regulations go to:

What our clients are saying

We have just had a delivery this morning. The driver is new and I just wanted you to know how efficient he was and very friendly. He told us about your new vehicle which will be able to access hard to reach properties if the weather is bad and the big tankers cannot get access. Mr S
We had an exceptionally busy period at the pub in summer and ran out of gas from a delivery which would normally have lasted much longer. I rang Northern Energy mid-morning when we discovered our situation and they delivered within 20 minutes! We were all very impressed by the speed and helpfulness of the service which got us out of a potentially very difficult situation. Lunch service went on as normal in our pub.
Thank you, Northern Energy!
Mrs R - Publican
Excellent service , easy to order with polite efficient sales staff. Delivery drivers friendly and reliable, very impressed with all round customer service.  Mrs J
Your telephone is answered quickly and in a friendly manner followed up with call/message of delivery date. Mrs B
My husband and I are very pleased with your overall service and have recommended your service to other people round about. We rate you 10. Many thanks Mrs B
Yes I would recommend you, I score 10. The 'PPP' keeps my tank topped up, no VAT to pay. A very good efficient firm with nice friendly delivery men. Thank you Mr W
Been with you now since 2005 would recommend you to anyone Mr W
Always good service from ring (a day before) to say delivery is on it's way to the tank being filled up, thanks guys! Mr T
Last year I recommended you to my neighbour and he is equally happy with your service. Mrs S
I have just recommended your company to a friend who's just moved into a new home and uses oil. I have given you 10 in ratings. Mr M
We find the whole service really easy & efficient Mrs M
We are new customers, but the one delivery we have had came on time. The driver was very friendly and quick with no mess. Very pleased and no need to go elsewhere! Mrs D
I have always been very happy with the service I've recieved from Northern Energy and in fact have got you 2 more customers in the village. The delivery men are always courteous and I think that goes a long way! Northern Energy get a five star rating from me. Mr C
I am pleased with your automatic top-up system. It saves me worrying about running out and presumably saves you money if you can top up a group of neighbouring customers in one delivery - so win-win. Mr D
We have been very impressed with the service received from Northern Energy. The team are always very friendly and always willing to help in any which way they can. If we are cancelling a delivery there are never any questions asked. Recently we had a new oil tank fitted and the oil was delivered within two days of being ordered (we had allowed up to 5 days). Mr K
As a customer I love the all inclusive package of oil and maintenance that you offer. As a second home owner, we never run out of oil like we do ‘at home’ because you keep us ‘topped up’. Mr C

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