The Essential Guide to Bunded Tanks

In the agricultural landscape of Australia, where fuel is the lifeblood of farm operations, the secure storage of fuel takes precedence. The reliability and efficiency of farming machinery and equipment hinge on the availability of quality fuel. Secure fuel storage not only ensures a continuous and uninterrupted power supply but is also essential for the safety of farm personnel and the preservation of the environment.

In this quest for secure fuel storage, bunded tanks emerge as a critical solution. These tanks, designed with a secondary containment system, provide an additional layer of protection against spills and leaks. The need for bunded tanks on farms is paramount, not just for compliance with regulations but also as a sustainable and cost-effective approach to fuel storage.

This article serves as an indispensable guide to bunded tanks, exploring their definition, purpose, advantages, types, considerations for choosing the right tank, installation procedures, safety measures, environmental compliance, and financial aspects, such as cost considerations and return on investment (ROI).


Understanding Bunded Tanks

Bunded tanks are specially designed to prevent fuel spills by incorporating a secondary containment wall. This secondary layer provides an added level of protection, containing any potential leaks and safeguarding against environmental damage. Their primary purpose is to enhance the security of fuel storage, making them an ideal choice for farms with a commitment to safety and environmental responsibility.

The working principle of bunded tanks is straightforward yet highly effective. In the event of a primary tank failure, whether due to damage or corrosion, the secondary containment system captures and contains the spilled fuel, preventing it from reaching the external environment. This innovative design ensures that even in unforeseen circumstances, the impact of a spill is minimised.

Bunded tanks come in various types and materials to suit different farm requirements. Common materials include steel and polyethylene, each offering unique advantages. The choice of material and type depends on factors such as the type of fuel stored, environmental conditions, and farm-specific needs.


Advantages of Bunded Tanks for Farms

The primary advantage of bunded tanks lies in their ability to contain spills, preventing fuel from seeping into the soil or water sources. This not only safeguards the farm’s immediate surroundings but also contributes to the overall protection of the environment.

Farms must comply with stringent regulations and safety standards governing fuel storage. Bunded tanks not only meet these requirements but often exceed them, demonstrating a commitment to safety and regulatory adherence that enhances the farm’s overall operational integrity.

While the initial investment in bunded tanks may seem higher, the long-term cost savings are substantial. The durability of bunded tanks, coupled with their ability to prevent spills and subsequent clean-up costs, results in a financially prudent and sustainable solution for farms.


Types of Bunded Tanks

Above-ground bunded tanks are a common choice for farms, providing easy accessibility for refuelling and routine inspections. They come in various sizes and designs, catering to the diverse needs of farm operations.

Underground bunded tanks offer a discreet storage solution, minimising the visual impact on the farm landscape. These tanks are ideal for farms with space considerations or aesthetic concerns.

Bunded tanks come in a range of designs and sizes to accommodate the specific requirements of each farm. Whether it’s a small family-owned operation or a large-scale commercial farm, there is a bunded tank solution tailored to suit diverse needs.


Choosing the Right Bunded Tank

The first step in choosing the right bunded tank is a thorough assessment of the farm’s requirements and fuel storage needs. Understanding the volume of fuel consumed, the types of machinery in use, and the environmental conditions enables farms to make an informed decision.

Strategic placement of bunded tanks is crucial for efficiency and safety. Farms must consider factors such as accessibility, proximity to machinery, and compliance with safety regulations when determining the ideal location for their bunded tanks.

Bunded tanks are versatile and can store various fuels and liquids. Farms should ensure that the chosen tank is compatible with the specific types of fuel used on the farm, preventing any issues related to corrosion or contamination.


Installation and Maintenance

Correct installation is fundamental to the effectiveness of bunded tanks. Farms should enlist the services of professionals to ensure proper installation, adhering to industry standards and safety protocols.

Routine inspections are essential to the longevity and reliability of bunded tanks. Regular checks for signs of wear, corrosion, or damage, along with scheduled maintenance, guarantee the ongoing integrity of the tank.

The bunded wall is the key to spill containment. Farms must ensure the integrity of this critical component through regular inspections, repairs, and adherence to maintenance schedules.


Safety Measures and Spill Response

Implementing safety protocols when working with bunded tanks is imperative. Farms should establish clear guidelines for personnel handling fuel, including proper attire, equipment use, and emergency procedures.

Preventing spills is a priority, and bunded tanks play a significant role in achieving this. Farms should supplement this preventive approach with spill containment measures, such as absorbent materials and barriers, to minimise environmental impact.

Even with preventive measures, farms should have a robust emergency response plan in place. This plan should include procedures for containing and cleaning up spills, ensuring a swift and effective response to unforeseen incidents.


Environmental Compliance

Farms must stay informed about regulations related to fuel storage on their premises. Compliance with these regulations not only ensures the farm’s legal standing but also contributes to responsible environmental practices.

Bunded tanks align with sustainability goals by minimising the environmental impact of fuel storage. Farms investing in these tanks contribute to the broader effort of creating a sustainable and ecologically responsible agricultural sector.

Preventing soil and water contamination is a shared responsibility. Farms can actively contribute by implementing practices such as spill prevention measures, routine inspections, and prompt response to any potential environmental hazards.


Cost and ROI

While the initial cost of bunded tank installation may be higher than traditional tanks, farms should consider the long-term benefits. The investment in safety, environmental protection, and reduced operational costs contributes to a favourable return on investment.

The durability and spill-containment capabilities of bunded tanks result in long-term savings for farms. Reduced clean-up costs, prevention of environmental fines, and increased operational efficiency contribute to a substantial return on investment over time.

Farms embracing bunded tanks may qualify for insurance incentives and government grants. Insurance providers often view bunded tanks as a proactive risk management measure, potentially leading to reduced premiums. Additionally, government incentives promote the adoption of sustainable and secure fuel storage practices.


The adoption of bunded tanks by WA Refuelling Services (WARS) for secure and sustainable farming is a pivotal step towards ensuring operational continuity, environmental responsibility, and long-term financial prudence. By understanding the intricacies of bunded tanks and implementing best practices, farms in Australia can elevate their commitment to safety, sustainability, and efficient fuel storage.