The sad thing about the recent spill of over 2,000 litres of Heavy Fuel Oil in West Limerick was that it in all probability would have been preventable if the oil tanks were located in a bund. The water supply difficulties would then have been prevented and 1,500 homes would not be now without water.

Unfortunately, there is no general requirement in Ireland for the commercial and industrial sectors to build bunds around oil tanks.  This contrasts with the situation in the UK where all oil drums and tanks over 200 litres in size have to be bunded.

Bunding is a very simple but effective method of preventing oil escaping from tanks. The usual method is to build a wall around the tanks so that if the oil tank bursts then the oil is retained on site.  If the bund is correctly sized and constructed as per CIRIA163 then such accidents as in West Limerick would be prevented.