Oil tank rules
We are buying a house which has a cuve fioul (oil tank) that we do not want but will have to use until we can get rid of it and change to another fuel... are there any rules about this? B.L.
It is forbidden to keep any heating oil tank that is not being used and any empty or unused tanks must be emptied and ‘neutralised’.
When in use, tanks must be cleaned every 10 years to get rid of water and oil sludge, which should be done by qualified workers who can dispose of the polluted material at a waste treatment centre.
As there are some 3.6million people using old heating oil systems, the government wishes to change away from this and improve energy efficiency to help the environment. If you wish to change to a different fuel, there are grants and government aid is possible (see www.anah.fr).
Regulations specify how an oil tank can be emptied of oil and sludge, cleaned and then voided of gas to avoid a fire or explosion risk.
Once done, a professional will give a certificate for the dégazage de la cuve. This is only valid for 48 hours and the tank must be rendered unusable within this time.
Underground tanks can be filled with concrete, sand or soil while overground ones can be cut up, generally by non-flame methods.
Once done, you should receive a certificat d’abandon and the tank parts will be taken to a treatment centre.
Question answered by Sarah Bright-Thomas of Bright Avocats
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