Diffuse Pollution – Looking Forward

Every month since last September we have highlighted different aspects of diffuse pollution to raise awareness of the issues for the forestry industry and to communicate the actions we can take to prevent it.

  • The areas we have highlighted are all covered in our diffuse pollution e-learning training. Muddy water, silt and sediments are often the focus but this month we have touched on fuels, oils and other polluting liquids which also cause diffuse pollution.

Looking forward, we hope that this focus over these past few months means that we see improved preparation, planning and understanding of the risks of diffuse pollution. Good clean water is vital for our economy, our environment and our social well being. We ALL rely on its quality for our drinking water, wildlife, tourism and leisure activities.
Diffuse pollution is one of the biggest risks to our water environment. It is vital that we all play a part to protect our water from pollution. 

Fuels, Oils, and Other Polluting Liquids

Small loses of these liquids are also known as diffuse pollution. Any spills on site, whether through refuelling or burst pipework, build up in a water catchment with serious consequences.

While a small spill may seem insignificant, collectively across a water catchment the effects can be substantial, affecting drinking water, wildlife and loss of biodiversity.

Clean up costs, which include making good the damage and disposing of contaminated soil and spill kit, are high.

Poor storage and containment of oil and urea on site leads to spills and leaks.

Please make sure you are following these simple site controls:

Watch your Distance

  •  Don’t store, refuel or handle, oil and fuel containers, including bowsers:
    – within 10 metres of a watercourse, including ditches and drains
    – within 50 metres of a well or borehole
    – within 50 metres of a spring.

Bowsers, bunding and refuelling

  • Bowsers or tanks must be double skinned or bunded, secure and lockable.
  • Bowsers must be positioned on a stable site.
  • Bunding must be in place for all smaller containers too, these may be trays for temporary storage on site or containment within vehicles. Containers should not be left unattended and unbunded on site.
  • Any bund must be able to hold at least 25% of the total stored, or 110% of the largest container.
  • Use funnels when pouring from cans.
  • Refuel with care to avoid spills.
  • Lock fuel tanks when you leave site.

Spill Kits

  • Carry spill kits on all mobile machinery.
  • Have larger spill kits at the fuel storage and machine refuelling area.
  • Used spill kits must be disposed of as hazardous or special waste.

Never operate a machine which is leaking fuel or oil!
In the event of a spill immediately contact the Tilhill manager and if required our Emergency Spill Response providers Darcy on 01732 441049.