Bund Testing – Why do I need to retest?

June 24, 2013


In order to comply with current legislation, in particular the Water Pollution Act 1977, 1990, all bunds must pass an Integrity Test at least every 3 years.

This bunded storage unit will potentially contain the highest risk material in your facility. It therefore should be re-tested immediately to protect staff, visitors and the environment from a potentially harmful chemical leak.

Any leak from a tank within the bund would pollute the ground and groundwater. Not only does this put drinking water supplies at risk, but it has serious cost implications as the site clean-up costs and soil remediation can be significant and may not be covered by insurance.

It is advisable that bunds are maintained to the necessary standards so that they do not become an issue when the EPA carries out site inspections. A poorly maintained bund will draw attention and may result in corrective measures being enforced.

In addition, properly maintained bunds will pass a water retention test at the first time of asking – thereby saving time, money and minimising any disruption to production.



  • Chemstore has over 20 years experience in the manufacture, site management and retesting and repair of chemical bunds
  • We provide a preliminary site visit with visual inspection of bund prior to actual testing.
  • Most tests are fully completed in one day which greatly reduces any potential site disruption
  • Larger bunds are tested on-site whereas smaller pallets or cabinets can be transported on mass and tested at our limerick facility for limited disruption to your operations.
  • Depending on the outcome, full certification valid for 3 years, or a Bund Failure Report with recommended corrective action will be issued.  (All reporting is complete referencing relevant EPA Guidance Notes.)




Project Costings – Large Concrete Bunds & Drum/Pallet Stores

  1. Preliminary Site Visit, Bund(s) Inspection & Report to EPA documentation  – €350 + VAT
  2. 1 days bund testing and certification – €1,375 + VAT (Multiple bunds can be tested in 1 day)
  3. Travel charge & labour cost during travel 95c / mile
  4. Documentation charge for each extra bund after bund 1 – €25 + VAT


The following notes are designed to give clear guidance on our Bund Testing Services including the Initial Site Inspection which determines whether bunds are suitable for testing.

Preliminary Bund Inspection

  • Preliminary site visit with visual inspection of bund(s) & detailed report referencing relevant EPA Guidance Note.
  • Inspection will identify if the bund is suitable for Hydrostatic Testing, identify any remedial works required prior to testing and measure compliance with EPA pre test requirements.
  • Issue of Preliminary Inspection Certificate or if bund(s) are not currently capable of being tested then.
  • Issue of Failure Report and remedial costing(s).



Bund Testing excludes

  • Testing of test media prior to disposal to ensure it is not contaminated.
  • Pumping out of residue in the bunds.
  • Incurred / unforeseen overtime due to delay caused by the client.
  • Repair work required to ensure the bunds can be tested.
  • Replacing components such as damaged valves, cracks or leaks
  • Testing and disposal of any potentially hazardous waste material.
  • Absorbents used to clean out sumps for inspection if required.


Important – Preparation for Bund Testing

  1. Confirm testing details with EPA for written approval.
  2. Bunds to be fully charged with water in advance to ensure minimal on-site time and cost.
  3. Run down stock on site to lowest workable levels for bunded units to reduce spill risk during testing.
  4. Ensure that all bunds are fully cleared (in particular drums, IBC’s and other containers of product), ready for the Chemstore engineer to begin work.
  5. Ensure all relevant staff are aware of testing and accept that some disruption will occur.

Note: Chemstore can supply short/long rental units to ensure that all hazardous materials on site are securely stored during testing. Please call us and we will send details immediately.


Additional Information on Bund Testing

A bund is defined as a secondary containment facility designed to prevent leaking contents from contaminating the environment. In order to comply fully with the requirements of the Water Pollution Act 1997, 1990 it is imperative that bund integrity is tested on a regular basis.

A bund must be structurally strong enough to withhold the pressures exerted if it had to contain the full contents of the primary tank plus a factor of 10% volume (initially designated volume factor to recognise the presence of rainfall in external bunded areas). A bund must also be impervious to the liquid stored in the tank and to water, as this is the test medium used.

The standard protocols that apply to bund tests:

  1. British Standard 8007: a standard developed with a view to the testing of concrete structures for aqueous retention such as swimming pools and reservoirs. However, this standard is not very suitable for industrial and commercial retrospective testing as it is highly disruptive. The standard requires that bunds are filled to the minimum capacity and monitored for loss after a five-day test period. Calculation must be made to recognise evaporative loss due to ambient temperature and wind speed. The fill rate of the bund is also regulated and 24 hours must be allowed for the water to absorb in to the bund structure (in the case of unlined concrete structures). This is a cumbersome, expensive and impractical method.
  2. Other Protocols: Other protocols may be used to give a much more practical industrial and commercial test. Subject to individual approval by the EPA, the tests can take place over reduced test times such as 6 hour or 24 hour intervals. However, these are normally approved only where the bund has been sealed and is designed to be non-porous.

Whenever bund structures are in place, it is vital to test their integrity on a regular basis. Where entities have achieved IPC License accreditation, regular bund testing will be a condition of the license.

Important Notes

Testing Frequency: Bunds should be tested at least every three years. However, it be prudent to test more often in certain cases. These include; highly sensitive locations where pollution prevention is critical, in very aggressive environments with extremely hazardous materials or where an accident has occurred which may have damaged the bund.

Testing Period: Bunds are filled to the minimum capacity and monitored for loss after a 6-hour, 24-hour or 5-day test period

Material of Bund:     Bunds must be structurally strong enough to withhold the pressures exerted.

Visual Inspection: Visual inspections at regular intervals of the bunded areas should be included in a planned maintenance schedule.

For further information, please contact our office at 061-327792.


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