Diesel Spill, Belfast Waterworks Lake
Written by Administrator
Monday, 18 October 2010 18:24


During demolition works a feed pipe to a diesel storage tank was cut in order to remove the tank. The tank still held 1000 litres of diesel, unknown to the plant operator. The liquid fuel spill from the pipe and migrated through existing storm drainage beyond the site boundary, contaminating a stream which fed the local park lake. This occurred on a weekend morning when local anglers were using the lake. After an initial emergency response by the regulator’s contractor, we were commissioned to provide further remedial measures. The spill had resulted in contamination of in-situ site soils, the stream and the lake itself.


After the initial tankering operation to remove the obvious surface based diesel contamination from the lake surface, we deployed absorbent booms at the outfall of the stream to prevent further surface migration. The initial response had minimised the opportunity for emulsification and vertical migration of diesel molecules to the lake bed. Absorbent mats and additional booms were deployed at key points in the stream and at the outfall of site drainage proximal to the initial spill.

Soils were sampled and analysed for hydrocarbon contamination and classified in accordance with waste legislation and in the context of the future use of the site. Waters were tested initially and after visual inspection confirmed containment of all residual diesel. Soils beyond the applicable thresholds were transferred from site and waters validated as free from contamination. The site was validated as clean to the satisfaction of both the client and the regulator, and the works completed within budget and on time.