What are the key things to know about fuel storage tanks and pipework?

PEIMF+ member, Fuel Storage Systems, talk us through the minefield.

Questions to ask when choosing the correct tank

  • What product will be I be storing? Petroleum, LPG, Diesel, Aviation, Bio or Heating Fuel?
  • Where can the tank be installed? Above ground or below?
  • What type of tank should I choose? Bunded or single skin?
  • What material will the tank be manufacturer from? Steel or plastic?
  • What shaped tank should I choose? Rectangular or cylindrical?
  • Which orientation would suite best? Horizontal or vertical?

Each answer has a significant effect on the design and installation process we go through with our suppliers. Knowing which supplier to choose to meet the requirements of our clients, is crucial. As a result of years of hard work, we are proud of our ability to provide this service.

We have built a formidable reputation for the quality and reliability of our services; providing the installation and maintenance of fuel pumps, fuel storage tanks, level gauges, fuel polishing systems and fuel pipework; offering a full turn-key solution.

Manufacturing standards associated with tanks

Plastic storage tanks
Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) standard OST T100, BS EN ISO 9001 & BS EN 13341.

Steel storage tanks
Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) standard OFS T200, UL142, UL2085, BS799 Part 5, BS.EN.14015:2004, BS EN12285-1 and BS EN12285-2.

Tank pipework and connections

A typical fuel storage tank comes with a standard amount of pipework and connections. Every one of them has its own purpose. Fill, vent, drain, draw off, gauge, overfill, bund and spares.

Many bespoke designs can incorporate additional connections to suite the needs of our customers.

For example: return, waste removal, fuel polishing and dipping points.

Fill pipework can either be installed at the manufacturer’s facility or onsite. If a tanker deliver can fill a tank close by, then usually, tanks can be fitted with fixed pipework, either in a cabinet or without. Some installations require the tank to be in an area where the tanker driver is unable to gain access to the tank close by. This then requires a remote fuel fill point cabinet to be installed, with the minimum of a gauge and an overfill alarm.

Paint finish

This can be an overlooked element of a fuel storage tank. Many manufacturers of storage tanks paint the external surfaces with a primer and a topcoat of gloss to suit the customers’ requirements.

In some cases the tank surfaces need to be fully prepared by using grit blasting to receive a higher durability paint finish, which exceeds this basic standard. For example in harsh marine environments, steel storage tanks require a thicker DFT to help preserve the life of the tank.


Crucially, gauging is one of the most important ancillary items you can install on a fuel tank. Gauging systems of late can incorporate many features that help the business manage is stored product. Features such as 4-20mA outputs, 0-5 volts, radar and cellular connections, give the ability for our clients to be able to remote monitor and manage fuel stocks.


Again, tank alarms are a critical ancillary item that can indicate issues with a stored product. Many alarm manufacturers provide audible and visual alarms signals to warn clients of problems. In remote areas, technology is required to assist with the management of stock levels. This is made possible by features such as 4-20 mA outputs and cellular connections.

Mechanical overfill prevention valve

OPV’s come in many shapes and sizes. Typically, a mechanical OPV is used to help prevent the tanker driver overfilling a storage tank. It is a requirement that an OPV is fitted if the tanker driver is unable to see the vent pipe of the storage tank whilst filling. This prevents the stored product from leaving the tank via the vent and potentially polluting the environment.

Installed pipework

Fuel Storage Systems offer a complete range of services with design, installation and modification of various fuel pipework systems for above and below ground applications. This covers a number of industries including petrol filling stations, fleet, rail, marine, MOD and industrial applications.

Our highly-experienced, fully certified installation teams have the expertise and the know-how to complete any size of fuel system project; from start to completion. Our installation engineers been trained to the highest standards, having completed specific training courses for all fuel pipework systems.

The broad range of pipework systems we install, but not limited to, include:

  • KPS – Durapipe PLX
  • UPP – OmegaFlex DoubleTrac
  • Brugg (Second-X & FSR) – Geberit Maprees
  • PFS – Press Threaded Steel
  • Flexrite
Below Ground UST Installation
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