Guide To Secondary Containment For Used Oil Tanks and Containers

This resource has been developed by the Department of Solid Waste to provide businesses with guidance on how to properly manage wastes in accordance with federal, state and local laws.

black barrels for used oil on an orange pallet

Secondary Containment Volume

The secondary containment system must be able to contain at least 110% of the volume of the largest tank or container within the containment area. To calculate the volume required for your secondary containment, use this equation:

(Volume of Largest Storage Container) x 1.1 = (Volume of Secondary Containment Required) *


*Be sure to factor in the volume displaced by the actual tank or container.

Secondary Containment Volumes For Standard Size Containers

Volume Of Used Oil Container (Gallons)Volume of Secondary Containment Needed (Gallons)
*at least
a man wearing gloves and safety glasses pours used oil into a barrel

Where To Store Secondary Containers

  • If used oil tanks or containers are not stored inside a structure, they need to be closed, covered or otherwise protected from the weather.
  • If used oil tanks or containers are not double walled, they need to be stored on an oil-impermeable surface such as sealed concrete or asphalt.

How to Meet the Secondary Containment Requirement

Used oil tanks or containers that are not double-walled must have a secondary containment tank or container that can hold 110% of the volume of the largest tank or container within the containment area.

Large Used Oil Container
  • Containers that are 55 gallons or less and stored inside a structure on an oil-impermeable floor will meet this requirement if any leaks would be contained within the structure.
  • For larger containers, the building structure can meet the secondary containment requirements if:
    1. The container(s) is in good condition.
    2. The container(s) is not stored near a doorway leading outside or on a surface that slopes toward an outside doorway/drain that leads to the environment.
    3. The floor surface is in good condition and is oil-impermeable.
    4. The walls connect to the floor.
    5. The structure has the capacity to collect the used oil if it spills.
  • Portable collection containers (regardless of size) that have wheels, are typically emptied within 24 hours and stored on an oil-impermeable surface inside a structure will meet the secondary containment requirement.

Contact Us

For more information or to request a printed copy of this guide, contact the Pinellas County Small Quantity Generator Program at (727) 464-7500 or