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Water Pollution Prevention News

Industrial fire, nitrate issues, orange seas and new environment initiatives

There’s been an industrial fire at Wath. Hampshire’s new home building strategy is suffering thanks to nitrate pollution in the Solent. The sea has turned orange in Cornwall amid concerns about a leak at the Portmellon Pumping Station. Scientists slam the government’s plans for environment laws post-Brexit as ‘still not fit for purpose in part’. And the Environment Agency has invited the public to share their views and ideas on the future of our water environment and rivers with its new Challenges and Choices consultation. Here’s the latest news.

Cause of Wath industrial fire remains a mystery

The cause remains unknown after a dramatic blaze at an industrial building in Wath was attended by fire crews from Wath itself, Dearne, Rotherham and Parkway stations. Apparently recycling rubbish had been set on fire and crews had to revisit the site at the weekend to make sure it hadn’t flared up again. The cause isn’t known yet and the investigation remains open.

Hampshire’s housing plans collapse

As reported by the BBC, plans for new homes for Hampshire are suffering thanks to worries about nitrate pollution in The Solent. Only two large applications have been received by the council since August, when they usually get two or three a week, and several local authorities have quite rightly been refusing new developments that are not 100% nitrate neutral.

Councils in the Solent area are collaborating with Natural England, Southern Water and the Environment Agency to handle spill containment better and stop nitrogen from houses and agriculture making algae grow at record rates, which in turn damages wildlife habitats. While everyone’s hoping for a quick resolution, keen to put in place water pollution prevention, there’s no magic wand and the problem rumbles on.

Cornwall’s seas go orange

The Mirror reports orange seas in Cornwall, with some swimmers suffering a rash from exposure to the nasty-looking pinky-orange pollution.

The Environment Agency and South West Water are investigating the potential industrial leak and Surfers Against Sewage have issued a pollution warning for Portmellon. There were also reports of a sewer overflow from Portmellon pumping station discharging into Portmellon Stream 70m upstream of the beach, a location that’s covered by Pollution Risk Forecasting.

Scientists slam government post-Brexit environmental plans

New Scientist magazine reports on the UK government’s plans for environment laws after Brexit, claiming they are ‘still not fit for purpose in parts’, with important outstanding questions about the level of independence of the proposed new environmental watchdog.

Criticism of the draft environmental bill comes from the Environmental Audit Committee, and it matters because Boris Johnson’s main EU withdrawal agreement bill didn’t contain a single mention of protections against air pollution, water quality, or any other environmental issues. Instead these vital pieces of information were given short shrift, hidden in the non-legally-binding Brexit political declaration.

The Environment Agency launches a consultation over the future of our rivers

The Environment Agency has launched a new initiative, inviting the public to share their views about the future of the nation’s water environment. It’s called the Challenges and Choices consultation, it launched on 24th October and it’s looking into the way water in the eight river basin districts will be managed from 2021.

Current river basin management plans came to life in early 2016 and every river basin district has its own plan. Now the plans are going to be updated, acknowledging again that our water environment is a precious resource that must be preserved for the future prosperity of wildlife, people and commerce.

Water pollution prevention matters when we have already lost 90% of our wetland habitats in the last 100 years alone, and what little remains is under threat. We need to reverse the terrible damage humans have already done to these precious habitats, to which climate change and growing population are only adding. The consultation will look at river flow, climate change, the biodiversity crisis, chemical spills, invasive species, modifications to river habitats and ways of working, and it’ll run for six months.

We help businesses avoid environmental damage

Industrial fire can cause financial havoc. Reliable spill containment is vital. Even a small industrial leak can cause havoc to the environment as well as a great deal of expense for your business. It’s our job to help people like you prevent damage, avoid fines and steer clear of prosecution. Let’s talk.

David Cole MSEE

David Cole MSEE

Technical Director

David is a pioneer of the spill containment and water pollution prevention industry with 30 years experience. He was instrumental in the development of CIRIA736 with The Environment Agency and is passionate about preventing water pollution.

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