Emergency Incident Response
Late last year a small central heating fuel oil storage tank overflowed whilst being filled by a fuel supplier. Due to the fill point being at the front of the building and the storage facilities at the rear the tanker driver was out of line of sight of the storage tank, to make matters worse the system had never been fitted with an overfill prevention device to warn of an impeding overfill.
Once the storage tank had become full the fuel spilled out of a tank vent at pressure, spraying the wall and the immediate area around the tank. It also caused the secondary bund to begin to fill.
As the flow of fuel continued undeterred the bund filled until it breached the wall, causing fuel to spill alongside the building creating a major environmental incident. Once the spill was realised the driver immediately stopped the flow of fuel and contacted the relevant parties.
Due to the company involved employing an up-to-date and extensive disaster management and recovery plan, LCM Environmental were contacted within minutes of the incident and dispatched a team immediately.
On arrival at the site our team carried out a site survey to establish the extent of the spill and contamination. It was obvious that the fuel had traveled some distance along the boundary of the building and that ground remediation would be needed to clean the area and minimise the impact to the environment. It was also apparent that the bund wall had withstood the amount of fuel contained within it but the brickwork had begun to fail and fuel was leaking through.
The main priority was to stem the flow of fuel coming from the tank and bund; this was done using booms and absorbent pads to contain the spill until LCM Road Tankers arrived to uplift and remove the fuel so that further contamination would not occur.
Once the tank and bund were emptied of product they were, along with the wall, jet wash cleaned to minimise the chance of continued contamination. The tankers also removed sludge from the contaminated area around the tank and along the direction of the spill.
Due to the amount of contamination alongside the building, a small digger was brought in to remediate the ground of contaminated hazardous soils and dispose of using lined skips at a licensed disposal site.
During the works to remediate the area LCM Environmental laid tarpaulin along the access point to the storage facility, this was done to minimise the spread of contamination to other areas within close proximity to the spill.
When all contaminated materials had been disposed of LCM Environmental began to lay new soil topped with pea gravel along the access path to the tank. The secondary bund was also repaired with new brickwork and the bund cleared of any debris left after the spill.
For the storage tank to be compliant with The Control of Pollution Regulations 2001-2004 Act, set and enforced by the Environment Agency, a new fill cabinet and new pipe work connected to the storage tank had to be installed. The system also had to include an overfill prevention device with a high and low level alarms for both the tank and the bund. A digital level gauge was also installed for accurate readings on the level of fuel in the tank.
This type of spill is an all to common incident that can be easily avoided with the right type of knowledge and equipment, if you would like more information on our Emergency Incident Response services or how we can help you maintain your storage facilities please contact us.
Our Spill response bases around the UK provide our clients with 24 hour 7 days a week Emergency Response cover no matter what the incident. Our response bases ensure that our teams can be on site within 4 hours.
Spill damage is obvious but the most damage is below ground
Oil has seeped through the ground and has caused extensive environmental damage
After an initial clear up of the oil the ground excavations began
The site looking a little more under control
A new fill point and alarm were also fitted to bring the storage facilities up to regulation standards