Storing Diesel on Site?
Ph 02 6551 0966

by John Carmichael
Diesel-grade Poly Tank Supplies
(Please read the disclaimer at the end)

What are the rules for storing diesel in a big tank?
Can I use a poly tank to store diesel on my farm?

No more Jerry cans- save your backThe Ricegrowers' Association of Australia has on its website the Guidelines for Storing Fuel on Farms. The guide is published by the Australian Institute of Petroleum. This guideline includes a checklist that fuel distributors use, to decide if they will deliver to your above ground bulk diesel storage unit. (Its possible this link could change, so search Google for "Guidelines for Safe Above-Ground Fuel Storage")

The fuel distributor will want to ensure that the tank meets the AS1692 Standard (Tanks for Flammable & Combustible Liquids), there is no rust, there is good drive-in access, the site of the tank is clear, and not near any hazards, and that the ladder to get to the filling point meets the OH&S requirements in your state, and the requirements of AS1657 (ladders & handrails). More detail can be found in their fuel storage guidelines.

For diesel, the maximum tank size they allow is 10000 litres. This size comes from the AS1940

You should contact the EPA (Environment Protection Authority) in your State for other requirements in relation to bunding, spills, and location near waterways. You should also refer to AS1940 - The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids.

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Unfortunately poly tanks don't pass the flame test in AS1692 - and the standard refers only to metal tanks. Attempts are being made to allow poly tanks to qualify for the Standard, as they are in NZ, but at this stage they do not meet AS1692. This is a great shame because the major safety problem with diesel storage tanks is rust, and our poly tanks never rust! We have a range of transportable steel bunded fuel storage tanks available. Most mining sites require a bunded tank.

Its not illegal to have a poly diesel storage tank, its more to do with whether or not the fuel distributor will fill it for you. Some fuel distributors will deliver to a site with a poly tank, so check with your local distributor. In our experience if one dealer/distributor won't, then try their competitor, they probably will.

However, mounting our tanks on a trailer or truck, will allow you to cart diesel to your site, and to the fuel depot. The size rules in this article do not apply if you are transporting diesel. Diesel is not classed as a C1 flammable liquid if it is being transported! We have purpose-built diesel trailers, or our poly tanks can be mounted to a gal skid for pushing onto a tipper or flat-bed truck. Have a look at the rules for transporting Diesel .

AS 1940 - 2004 Minor Storage of flammable liquids

Please note that the above standard only applies to class 3 flammable liquids as defined in ADG Code Clause 1.4.9. Diesel is a C1 liquid, except when its being transported. Comments below refer only to diesel (not other flammable liquids). If diesel is stored with other flammables the rules change.
AS1940 specifies a maximum size of 10000L for diesel storage, provided its outdoors, on open land (at least 2ha) and not near anything combustible.

500L diesel storage tank

In enclosed areas like sheds and warehouses, the maximum size is 500L, but this changes depending on the surrounding items like walls and boundaries, and the type of establishment, eg school, laboratory, commercial building..
A warehouse can store diesel up to 2000L depending on the available floor space. Please refer to the standard for more detail.

A bund is a containment area or wall, that can hold the diesel, in the event of a spillage or tank failure. It needs to be able to retain its usefulness, even in the event of fire eg brick wall. AS1940-2004 clause 5.8.3 gives a detailed description of the rules relating to the construction of a bund. Clause 5.8.1 says a bund is not required if your tank fits within the definition of minor storage.

The advice on this page is offered as a guide only. You should seek a suitably qualified consultant if you need legally reliable advice.

John Carmichael
TTi Diesel Storage tanks from
Poly Tank Supplies
53a High St, Taree NSW 2430
ABN 48 750611700

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