A specialist service has been launched by Hydro International to help industrial and commercial sites avoid the devastating environmental and financial consequences of inadequate pollution spill containment.
Environmental pollution through firefighting water is often an unforeseen issue, while spills of pollutants carried in surface water can also lead to containment failures. In response, Hydro Consultancy, the professional services division of Hydro International, has developed Water Pollution Management, (WPM).
WPM is a whole-life service that combines risk assessment, hydraulic modelling, project implementation and ongoing regulatory compliance to achieve peace of mind for sites where potentially polluting substances are present. To lead the WPM team, Hydro Consultancy has recruited David Cole one of the UK’s best-known experts in pollution containment techniques and technologies, together with Barry Westwood, a skilled contracts manager with extensive experience in delivering environmental protection on controlled sites.
“Many companies may be seriously underestimating the risk of a pollution spill from firefighting water or polluted surface water discharging from their site,” says David Cole. “Catastrophes such as the Buncefield fire in 2005 clearly show the consequences of not being protected – and that’s not just because of the devastating impact on the environment.
“Companies could incur huge financial losses through punitive fines and as well as paying to put right the damage caused, in the worst case an unforeseen pollution incident could cripple a company through criminal or civil prosecutions and unaffordable costs.
“Operators often find their insurance is inadequate to cover the risks, or they may be paying unnecessarily high premiums because they are not able to provide evidence that they have fully mitigated their environmental liabilities.”
Hydro Consultancy has built on the lessons learned from major UK spill pollution incidents – and the near misses. Hydro’s unique service begins with a full survey of the site drainage and topography, from which an integrated hydraulic model is produced. The hydraulic model is used to analyse each site’s current level of protection and then Hydro’s recommended pollution containment system is modelled for a range of events including extreme rainfall and firefighting water.
Once operational, Hydro Consultancy can also deliver a whole-life protection service programme which will support the necessary annual Environmental Audit conformance as well as site training, maintenance and inspection services David Cole adds: “Proper consideration of how surface water is discharging to the environment, should be on the agenda of any company that is keen to act sustainably. Inadequate pollution spill protection is a threat to a company’s brand equity, as well as its Corporate and Social Responsibility. Careful and sustainable use of water resources, especially ground water, is of growing concern to industry, especially where water is used in production processes.”