HC Deb 10 December 2003 vol 415 cc476-7W
Jane Griffiths

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what regulations are in place to ensure the safe(a) installation and (b) operation of domestic central heating systems, with particular reference to preventing pollution from oil leakages; [143068]

(2) what quality standards apply to domestic central heating oil storage tanks in (a) metal and (b) plastic; [143069]

(3) how many oil-fired domestic central heating installations there are in England. [143171]

Phil Hope

Evidence from the English House Condition Survey indicates that there are around 700,000 oil fired domestic heating installations in England.

Part J of the Building Regulations covers the pollution risks associated with the installation of domestic oil fired central heating. Ways of meeting the requirement are conveyed in Approved Document J (2002) and include compliance with BS 5410 (1997 amended 2001): Code of Practice for Oil Firing—Part 1: installations up to 45 kW output capacity for space heating and hot water supply purposes, providing secondary containment where a risk assessment indicates this is necessary, and labelling storage systems with what to do if an oil spill occurs. BS 5410 refers to BS 799 Part 5 (1987): Specification for oil tanks for steel tanks and to the industry (OFTEC) standard OFS T100 (1995) Polyethylene oil storage tanks and bunds for distillate fuels. OFTEC has since published OFS T200 as their specification for steel tanks.

The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001, SI 2001:2954 provide minimum standards for domestic tanks where the storage capacity is in excess of 3,500 litres. There are no other regulations specifically covering the prevention of oil pollution from oil leakages arising from the operation of domestic oil fired central heating systems. However, it is a statutory offence to cause or knowingly permit the pollution of "controlled waters" (which includes ground and surface waters) under the Water Resources Act 1991.

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