Data shows that a holding tank (sometimes also referred to as a blind sump) can cost anywhere between $30-60K per annum in pump out and disposal.  But there are other more cost-effective and environmental options available.

The SPEL Puraceptor, for example, treats the forecourt oily water runoff, retains the hydrocarbons, releases the water at stormwater discharge quality and incorporates an automatic shut off valve. With over 1,400 Puraceptor 2 chamber oily water separators installed in forecourts across Australia, this provides service station owners and operators with significant opex savings.

The SPEL Puraceptor is manufactured in Australia, incorporates a flame trap, two underflow functions, vapour vents, spill containment automatic shutoff valve and coalescing polishing filter. Because of these features, you can put safety and environment first by utilising this technology.

Around the world, and many Water Boards and Authorities in Australia, no longer accept oily water runoff into the sewer as it has caused disasters in the past such as this explosion in 2013 at a service station in Sutherland (

In great storms, as we see in Brisbane, using the holding tank / blind sump option in the event of a flood, releases all of its untreated, stored hydrocarbons directly into the floodwater.

Furthermore, if a large hydrocarbon spill occurs, the blind sump has a limited or no spill containment capacity and relies on the operator calling the vacuum truck which may take some time to arrive.

SPEL work with their clients to produce commercially viable, safety and environmentally compliant products.  Providing complimentary design and engineering services to ensure that the efficiencies of the stormwater treatment meet the requirements in the smallest footprint and budget.

ACAPMA have recently released hydrocarbon management for stormwater best practise guidelines, you can download here:

SPEL are deeply passionate about our industry, investing a lot of time into the strategy planning, research and funding of water quality improvement technology [particularly oily water separation] and water sensitive urban design measures. This has been, and still is a journey of innovation and revitalisation, starting from the Stormceptor and Puraceptor systems for capture and removal of hydrocarbons, and tertiary cartridge technology like the SPELFilter for sediment and nutrient removal in forecourt runoff.

For more information please contact us at