Tales from the Field – Effective Water Pollution Prevention in Practice
Hi everybody, my name is David Cole and I have been involved in water pollution prevention for a number of years. I hope to give you a bit of an insight into what we do every day and maybe that’ll show you some opportunities or areas that might interest you, areas that you might be involved with.
As always, a little bit of an introduction to me. My name’s David Cole and my background is I worked as a Maintenance Craftsman, I’m a time-served apprentice for the Ford Motor Company back in the 1980s. I worked for them for over 24 years and whilst working for them I invented a product called Envirovalve which was back in about 1998.
The history of that is what I noticed was that, when we had pollution incidents, water pollution incidents, we would run around with spill kits, we’d have people running everywhere trying to block drains, trying to put things over the tops of covers. What we ended up with was a massive mess which we then had to take away to the landfill and get rid of it. I came up with an idea which was to stick an airbag that was permanently inside a specific manhole of a drain chamber, when I had an incident the idea was, I blocked a drain.
Blocking that drain meant instead of a spill being dealt with as a spill and cleaning it up and taking it away as a waste product I contained it, sent it back to the oil company which is what we normally did, it was recycled and we could reuse it.
Back then it was something that the Environment Agency frowned upon because everything was about spill response back then, so we started this process with this Envirovalve idea I had and that’s now quite common practice, to block drains, to stop pathway flow offsite.
A little bit on from then in 2006, I was asked by the Environment Agency and the UK Fire and Rescue services to develop a product, which you can see in the photograph. It’s really simple, it’s a bag on a stick we call it, and the idea of that is that when we’re working in confined spaces we can block drains, we block the area that we’re going to work in, it might be an above ground duct, we use that bit of kit so we don’t have to go into that confined space to apply that piece of equipment.
When we’re working servicing and maintaining Penstock valves and various other pollution containment devices or Hydro-Brakes, we can then work dry, we can work safe. We know that there’s less chance of anything coming flooding down a pipe that can cause us harm. That bit of kit is still used today, the EA still supply that design to the fire service, and it is used if a site doesn’t have anything else for containing firewater.
I’ve also won some awards with the fuel industry, this is the mechanical Toggleblok system that you can see there, just as some CAD images. That won me an award back in 2010, we have advanced a little bit more from there.
CIRIA 736. I was asked in 2012 to join the team by the EA, because of my background in inventing and delivering water pollution containment products, to look at the writing of this guidance which is based around the Buncefield Fire in 2005 and the failure to contain a major pollution event.
So, who do we work with?
Well, I’m just flicking up here some of the big companies we work with.
We work with anybody really. It’s normally around, they’ve come to us with an issue. Something that’s causing an issue on the environmental side. They looked at various other spill products or design products and they’re looking for alternative solutions. So, we work for, if you just see here, Whirlpool, we worked for Whirlpool where we’ve taken their drainage and we’ve found where all the drains go so they understand where their assets are. And more recently, one of our latest projects is working with Jaguar Land Rover on their new battery facility in Coventry where they’re doing all their researching the design and build of a firewater containment system which I am going to be talking about today.
What I want to do today is pick out four case study sites that I’ve been working on over quite a number of years.
I’m going to start here with Abbey Metal Finishing which is an aerospace company. The reason I’m using them is simply that they’re a company that started pre the CIRIA 736 guidance, which I do go on quite a lot about. I’m trying to encourage people to read it and use it. You’ll find that this is a lead in to the work that I currently do with Highways England and a project with WSP. We just finished a project, or virtually finished, it’s in the built stage now with Kellogg’s and then I’ll finish off with a project we’ve just done with DHL which is a new build that they’re about to build in 12 months’ time. But we’ve come in right at the design stage which is where I think is a great opportunity for what we’re talking about today to get things right.
I’m going to cover first of all the situation, for Abbey Metal Finishing. Abbey Metal Finishing is a case study within the CIRIA 736 guidance if you look at 12.1. If you need a copy of it it’s free to download but you can always ask me and I will forward you a copy of it which is compressed so you can forward it on to anybody you know. The reason I’ve gone for this is it’s one of our clients and it appears in the best practice guidance.
They’re a COMAH regulated site, in 2010 they had a fire. The fire was very similar, though smaller, to what happened at Buncefield. What we’ve got here is a major pollution incident event as a result of a fire. Not from the fire itself, that destroyed the business, but the environmental issue is what happened with the pollution that came from the fire. 27,000 fish were killed by cyanide which leaked from the site. The site then had a prosecution. They were fined I believe it was about, in 2013, £170,000. On top of that their legal costs were enormous.
So, we’ve got a business here that’s in trouble. I’ve put all four points up so you can see what they are, and you can read through those. In two thousand and eight or nine I approached this company, which is what we do. I asked them if they wanted to look at firewater pollution containment. The answer was no, we’re a low-tier COMAH site, that’s all covered, we’ve got everything in our environmental risk assessment covered. Sadly, 18 months later they had a significant fire which caused the factory to burn down, due to an electrical fault.
It was the firewater runoff that caused the environmental problem. The firewater runoff, which was supposed to be contained in the tertiary area by a Penstock valve, it didn’t seal. Probably never did seal in the first place because nobody had inspected it to see if it worked. So, it failed to seal, allowing the flow from the drainage network in the ground, in the bunds, in the tertiary bunds to escape in to the river. You can always look this one up because it’s quite an easy one to find, and what you had was a huge amount of fish killed, this was a major water pollution incident. So, the business is burned to the ground and they now can’t rebuild the business on that site because the regulator and the local authority is refusing to give them operating permits.
The regulator is saying essentially “enough is enough.” You’ve had a major pollution event, in fact it was their second in ten years, quite a distance apart. This is the impact of getting water pollution prevention wrong. This is a customer that has a factory that’s burnt to the ground, pollution containment was not considered properly, they thought they’d got it right, but they certainly hadn’t. They had no evidence of what water pollution containment they had in plce. Now they’re in a situation where two hundred people are laid off and they’ve got a factory that they need to rebuild.
The challenge for us is that we didn’t have CIRIA 736 to fall back on at that time. Everything we were looking at around firewater containment at that time was assumption based. They had prove to the regulator that what they were going to design and implement would effectively contain firewater, so we were brought in by the client, we’ve had the phone call.
What we proposed was to design on the tertiary containment, this is where the firewater would be contained. I’m not so worried about the bunds, I’m worried about the area outside the factory where you’ve got a pollution risk and that is how this system was designed to work. We hadn’t finished CIRIA 736 at the time, we hadn’t really started. We only really started on CIRIA 736 as we started this project but we definitely had to deliver this containment.
On the right there is a picture of the site, it’s a Google image of the site. You see there that I’ve got valve 1, valve 2, this is where we’ve placed valves, this is a little bit after the job. This is the new facility, it used to be a storage depot. It wasn’t designed as a COMAH site, it wasn’t designed as a plate work, they putting their plated facility there which has modern bunding and all the protection done.
What we’re looking at is how do we protect Harrow Brook? With the client we’re looking at this, we’ve designed this to be able to isolate the drainage system which continues to valve points there, valve 2 and valve 1. So, that’s where the flow, surface water flow is going. You’ve got foul flow in there as well. So, what we had to do there is find a way to isolate those. You can see there the challenges. You’ve got Harrow Brook, we’ve got to somehow prevent that stream from being polluted. On the bottom here is a hedgerow, that’s now this picture here, that’s the tertiary containment wall. That’s what’s been put in to provide the containment. In the animation we close the valves and we start to flood the site, this is the wall that’s going to prevent the polluted water from reaching Harrow Brook.
How do we start it?
What do we look at?
Firstly we have got to understand all the drains. We’ve got to map the drainage pathways and we do this with using a visual, we don’t do a CCTV as such unless we see that that the area we’re going to be blocking where we need to understand that the drains are in good condition. But we’ll do a visual inspection using song (9:34) lifting the chambers, measuring the depths and the topography of the site. So, we’re looking at the same levels of what it looks like. This will then give us the level of the site from the back wall what we need to build. What’s really important though that we’ve got to block the pathways, the drainage but equally we also had on this site some foul drainage. So, we had to look at all those manhole covers because they’re inside that tertiary catchment area where the wall is. They’re going to be a pathway to take the polluted potentially cyanide into the foul sewer, which again needs to be avoided because historically we know that some of the water companies especially if they get something that’s outside of consent, that could be dumped through a CSO back into the river somewhere else and that’s happened in the past at numerous sites. So, just to cap this one off with this site. This is a really key site because it’s in the guidance. Graham Vaughan who was the environmental manager at the time, he’s the guy that’s been prosecuted, he’s under caution basically for the pollution incident that happened in the past. He became a great deal of support for me in the CIRIA writing for the CIRIA guidance because he offered for the whole team from CIRIA to go and visit the site and see what we build. Remembering what I’m doing with this case study is Pre CIRIA736, so I’ve brought this one in because what we did was without any really guidance to follow us. We had to basically just make it up, we had to use what everybody else was doing, we had a bit of topography we had to assume that the walls were right from obviously our drawings, we looked at the drainage. We didn’t have any data to follow and I think the good thing about bringing in the guidance which is what hopefully you guys are, reading and looking at is we’ve got our starting line now for our future sites that we’re now going to talk about we’re going to use that guidance every time to give us a nice benchmark. You can see one of our valves there that we’ve put in place.
So, one thing that you have to remember which comes in later that drives your customers and drives out customers is that Abbey Metal Finishing’s incident which was pre the sentencing guidelines. Now, they are owned by a big investment group. They’re an aerospace America-owned company. If this incident had happened today, their fine of a £170,000 would have a naught on the end of it. It would be significant and this is what’s driving businesses. There is a change in the way that businesses are prosecuted now and fined which makes the investment that previously would have gone in, it’s okay, not to really bother, it’s now not really something that could be accepted. But a lot of sites, a lot of consultants don’t seem to have knitted these two together. They’re really important and key.
So, let’s now look at Highways England and WSP. The situation. We were asked through one of our distributors that we work have worked with in the past and have a close relationship with, to help on the M5 Oldbury viaduct project. If you’ve been around Birmingham, you’ll know this has been a major project for the last couple of years and there’s a huge amount of work going in there. One of the issues they have is the viaduct is above, up to 30 feet, above the ground level and there’s a lot of old waterways below in Oldbury and these need to be protected. Like all businesses, Highways England has a responsibility to protect the environment and can be prosecuted under the sentencing guidelines in the same way. So, when they are building a high-risk structure where accidents happen they’ve got to look at how they would prevent a tank spill, a fuel spill, a chemical spill reaching controlled water and causing environmental damage, because somebody will have to pay for that damage.
We all know it’s a big subject now, and I’m sure and I’m sure a lot of you are involved with, surface water run-off pollution. Things are changing bio-fuels have been introduced. Bio fuels don’t separate in separators so we have a problem there. We’re bringing electric vehicles; we know that if electric vehicles set on fire the chemical reaction if you use water to put them out can change the sex of aquatic life. So, this is a serious area, there’s a whole change in the surface water structure that when we build highways, we need to be able to have a better containment policy. I think the best one which WSP have brought us in on that one was it couldn’t find some of the Penstock valves. They couldn’t find the assets they’d put in over years ago and when they did find them they were inoperable. Not operating, no working, seized up. Nobody really looks at these types of assets, they’ve just been put in and left.
So, the challenge to us really, the first challenge is to introduce this technology of Toggleblok and the way we think about pollution containment as a business here is to the current highways standards group. Now, interestingly enough I met with the highway standards committee, very much entrenched with a guidance that uses the word Penstock valve on the standard which is interesting when we take the CIRIA guidance which we wrote for industry in 2012, introduced it in 2014 which doesn’t use the word Penstock because we know that Penstock stipulates a flow control device. It’s not a pollution containment device. So, most of the motorways that I’ve now looked at and the highways projects that I’ve looked at, they have a containment valve in it that I know it will close and it will slow the flow, but it won’t isolate the flow. If this is a pollution incident, a tanker, and you want to clean down the road quickly you’ve got to react quickly. It’s the wrong product. We needed to create a system with the highways, especially at Oldbury, that you can operate remotely very quickly, totally automatic. So, it’s a bit of a challenge because most of the Penstocks that we were shown were mechanical. Not quite sure who managed to get to them in a motorway closure because most of the carriage ways would be blocked and certainly be restricted where the incident was. And you might then have the 25, 30 metre, 50 metre walk across a field to get to a valve that you might not even have the key to operate and if it’s quite a big valve it’s quite a hard bit of work to operate it. We needed to be able to deliver with a Toggleblok system something that could fit into the existing infrastructure from back to 1998 that’s one of the things that I’ve always worked on is that every product that we make fits into what already exists. It’s nice to work with new but, in reality, what we’ve got to do is work with what we’ve got because we’re trying to control costs. Incidentally, when you look at Toggleblok systems that we make you’ve got to realise these are modular systems so they’re very lightweight whereas if you take a 600ml Penstock valve you’ll need a crane to put it in. One of our valves is , maximum weight, is 40 kilograms. So, a little bit here this is a Penstock valve which is what really, we come across on the motorways. Penstock valves you’ve got that there. Flow control, not isolation. Yes, they do do isolation, but you’ve got to select the right Penstock valve and there’s a big difference here between a sluice gate and a valve that’s going to stop a static head, full stop. It’s a different type of product, you can see this image here that I’ve out in, that’s what we call an off-seating valve so there’s a good chance when the water hits that it’s going to push it open anyway. Operability issues, these are some of the ones that we do on sites now I’m going over to some ones I have done before in webinars. Nobody ever thought about who would operate them, impractical, can’t maintain them because they’ve been put in chambers that they can’t get to. But that happens in all of the areas we go to as well as highways, I know there’s a standard, but valves get put in and then they just get forgotten about. Maintenance issues, you know, this is a Penstock valve that failed and caused the pollution incident that I’m showing you there. It’s never been maintained, it’s just a rusty mess. But that’s what a lot of companies, and a lot of businesses especially what we found on the motorways, that’s what some of the assets are like. If they had been stolen in the first place which is something else that is a problem for all, equipment disappears. Manually operated valves, again, somebody’s got to go and manually operate them, they’ve got to get to the location to put them in. People have cemented valves in to try and stop them getting pinched, but it doesn’t really work.
So, the solution really for us was to implement an intelligent containment device that’s got to be triggered, what we’ve done is we’ve used the Zigbee network to trigger it off the street lighting. So, really, we built a standard system which can go into manholes that have been constructed simply going to fitting a Hydro-Brake, it very simple. That goes in. Small little box which is a self-powered battery which is solar powered unit but then it’s being operated then by the Zigbee network which is already in on the lighting structure so what we try to do is instead of trying to give them another product that’s going to cost them an arm and a leg to develop, the controls are simple, a unit is already developed to do that. It’s just linking it in to what infrastructure they’ve already got and it needs to be controlled centrally, I suppose, at the end of it if we look at our motorway networks in the future or how I would like to see it is that a valve could be triggered from a central control room if a highway or a police incident happens they can ask for a valve that’s got a specific zone to say that we’ve got a section of motorway that obviously gets known, can we make sure that we close down the pollution containment valves. Really, what I want to do then is I want to be hosing that road down or cleaning that road down knowing that I’m pushing it into a certain area that’s contained and allows me to tanker it away far quicker, hopefully get the networks, the roads back up and running quicker. I think there’s a safety aspect that if you can speed up the process of dealing with a pollution incident automatically it’s not something else that the Environment Agency or the Highways Agency they have to consider at the same time. Everything that we do, obviously, is reporting so the view to this asset is hopefully if it gets stolen it’s going to report that it’s disappeared so it’s an asset that can be tracked.
So, the Toggleblok valve you see that now on the right. So, this is what we’re putting in. This is pretty much what’s going into the motorway, a simple valve. It’s purpose designed to be a pollution containment valve. If you look at this where I showed you before there was a Penstock valve this is what we call on seated, so the water is pushing this flap is dropping into the flow, hopefully not too much. So, what we’ve got is with the system we’ve got we’re working on Zigbee, so again let’s look at the valve we’ve got. So, this valve is purpose designed that we’ve put in to the motorway networks so this is what’s going into that motorway, that highway now. This allows you to control the isolation of the drainage from the above carriage way below ground without having to run up and down the carriageway to find their way to the site. It’s adaptable, and what you’ve got here is a little video that will run that just shows you a valve working. It’s very simple, it’s pneumatic so we haven’t got the problem with getting power to it. It’s very simple, a little, tiny control panel using solar and what you’ve got here is that’s the valve closing. What you notice here it’s closing what I call on-seating, so the flow is pushing the flaps shut as well and that’s deliberate. It’s to give, this is a system that’s designed to stop any leakage at all. It wants to stop that flow. It’s a dead stop rather from where the water would be pushing the flap open or pushing the valve open, it’s much more efficient. What you’ll see now is the valve will reset itself. This one just lifts back up, locks on to its latch: that’s it. It’s using not a lot of energy so it’s quite capable of running for 12 months of its own battery power but this system is connected then into the Zigbee on the lighting system so the idea is that street lighting has control of the valves and I think what the aim is in the future is that we’ll be able to use that to control valves in the future across a whole network of sites.
So, now here’s going back to work on the industrial sites. This is Kellogg’s, this is a project that’s running right now that we’re working on. The situation here is that this site here, you can see the little image on the right, we’ve got the effluent treatment plant you can see the little blue spillage there from part of our modelling. This is an effluent treat plant and you can see the canal, which is the bridge walk canal. And there’s a risk, so a disaster goes straight into that canal and the regulator has noticed it. It’s noticed it for the last ten years and it’s put a lot of pressure onto Kellogg’s to address it in the last few years because the element there is the potential of a disaster is high and the regulator has really started to ramp it up. This was happening last year, putting a lot of pressure on some customers to do something about it. So, the challenge to us first of all was the site had already commissioned the design of a secondary bund. Basically, they were going to put a bund the whole way around that effluent treatment plant, you’re talking about 500,000 pounds or more to do it and that was where we got to when we got involved. The cost of building that bund was an entire year’s engineering budget for that company at that site so it as really stopping anything from happening. EA are pushing saying do something, the site is saying we’re trying but we can’t justify the spend. So, what we had to do really was find a cost effective solution, and this is where the guidance, your CIRIA guidance comes in because what we had to do first was convince the customer and the directors of Kellogg’s to take CIRIA and use it as their benchmark. So, what we’re taking there is how do we convince the customer to understand what the pollution incident would look like and then design your solution from that. Don’t just go, right, we’ve got X number of volume that all falls into there we need a bund that’s 2.8 metres high. It was a massive challenge that project because to build that as a bund turned it into a confined space. You couldn’t get tankers into it; tankers are more likely to cause a pollution incident now you’ve got them sat out in the commercial road. It was never going to work. Everybody could see it, but nobody could give it a solution. So, that’s where we came in hopefully with our ideas and our solution is to do spill animation. That is part of the CIRIA guidance, if you’ve read it, you’ll have seen it on page 136. You’ll also see part of it on section 433 which is all about what is a risk that we should be looking at? What is a reasonable, practical risk to calculate your assessment on? This will significantly reduce the tertiary bunding, so I’m coming away from secondary bunding, I’m looking at tertiary. The Toggleblok drainage is obviously going to be the valve that blocks the pathway below ground. I block the pathway below ground, the site fills up, hopefully the tertiary above it is then flooding the site but we’re not using secondary bunding, we’re really using a much lower cost bunding. The original budget was 500,000k as I’ve mentioned earlier. The job is now rolling so this job is being done significantly under 200,000 pounds. To me, that was a job that was never going to happen because they couldn’t justify the cost, backwards and forwards with the EA obviously pushing it so the relationship was difficult. But what we’ve come down to is a realistic option. So, what I’m going to do is I’m just show you the implementation to what we’ve done. So, what you have here on this animation here is spill mapping. I’m sure I know a lot of you that are involved today are from civil engineering, you’ll know all about micro drainage, you’ll know all about modelling the risk. What you’ve got here is this is what the site looked like; this is what was happening. What we’ve looked at is a worse-case scenario from this image here. What you’ve got here is if I move my arrow there, is that’s where we bought a 450 breach of that tank. Highly unlikely, I think, but that’s what we were asked to do by the site to give a worst-case scenario and this is the flow path of loss of that effluent treatment tank there. This is where it’s all flowed to, the majority of it goes into the canal but also it spreads all over the site, , evenly spreads itself out. This is obviously from the topography and this is micro drainage. This is looking at it we’ve blocked the drainage pathways and we’ve basically flooded the area to see what it looks like. That now is something that we present to the directors and to the EA to basically say this is our problem. This is why for 10 years we haven’t really come up with an answer because we don’t quite know what to do. So, what we’ve done now is we’re now going to show you this animation here is the solution. This is a designed solution in principle, so it’s not the engineered solution, it’s not got everything, all the designs of the bunds etc. This is what we’re predicting we can do, and we can achieve with the same event. So, by understanding the risk we’re empowering the decision maker. What we’re trying to do is get the directors who are going to spend the money and authorise the money on board so that they understand what they’ve got. And we want to get obviously the regulator at the Environment Agency to be going, actually I can see you’ve made an effort here. This isn’t just a guessed work, this is actually looking at what the problem is and you’re coming up with a solution. And significantly what we’re looking for is to reduce the cost from the original project. There’s no point really if our costs are more expensive, it’s got to be more significantly lower and just by not doing a full bund, you’re going to reduce the cost and the upheaval to the site. I mean there’s loads of other areas that are going to be a problem. So, this is the site. This is what we’ve modelled, and this is what we’ve got. And you’ll see the depths, I’m sure it’s something you’ve done micro drainage you will know your colours because that’s what you’ve really got here. What you’ve got here, is I’ll just pause that a minute, this is the main area, and this is obviously where we’re building our bunds. This works out about 700ml high tertiary bunding or a bund. There’s got to be an obstruction around there. So, what we’re looking at there is a relatively simple, a relatively low-cost bund that covers here. Here’s the tabletop, so what we’ve got here is just a tabletop so vehicles can get in and out. But this is sacrificial area, now, what you have here is a very small, low-level weir wall and the idea is that this about after 6 or 7 hours of this incident, firewater containment, loss of this tank and then the rain falling on it which is covered in the guidance. So, this one in ten years storm event added to this footprint of the area. It’s what we modelled here is that by a very small amount of tertiary control and using the sacrificial area, we can create an expansion area. What the site has chosen to do and the regulator has accepted is that what we look at is this area here and this area, to be honest, is so far down the risk area, it’s , it’s not going to be completed. We’ve got this section here to do stage 1, this area here would be after 10 hours, we would like to think that after 10 hours this site would have one something about an incident anyway, but this shows them what they can do. So, if I just run that out you see you’re basically flooding the sacrificial area and what we do is there’s no real major changes, it’s just some banking. Some, just, tertiary control and it is giving the site obviously something to do. From doing this then, we’ve actually done the design or our contractors that we work with then done a design build to obviously give them the specification for the bund walls and the ground repairs they’ve got to do and where there’s a containment valve. The containment valve sits just where the pointer is now, that’s where the valve is going. I think everyone has been perfectly satisfied, so that project has moved on. Hopefully that’s, , sent a problem that’s been lumbering for about 10 years gone away. Next one really, and the final one which is something which is more, , in advance. So, this is a site that hasn’t been built yet, so this is a new job and what we’ve got here is we’ve got a situation.
So, DHL is building plenty of new warehouse distribution depots all over the country. They’ve got lots. We’ve supplied many with pollution containment systems and supported them, I have, certainly, over a number of years. So, they’re always changing, they’re always looking for different things. They’re running all sorts of processes. So, some of their sites can be top tier COMAH, which is what this new DHL site that we’re working with now can just be small distribution depots but there’s a whole element of firewater containment. So, if there’s a risk of burning and a risk of pollution you’ve got to look at that situation. So, when you’re here the beauty of this is this is a brand-new warehouse that’s going to be built and they’re going to need to get permits, applications and it’s going to be a top tier COMAH site. What they’ve got to do of course is, they’ve got to satisfy to get their permits. One of the areas of this site was it is using soca waves (29:39). There isn’t the ground surface water run channeling us off, we’re going to be using soca waves (29:43). Right, so, the challenge for us was we need to help our customer achieve planning permission, we need to achieve the environmental permits, this is obviously what needs to be done to allow the job to proceed. An we’ve got to show some evidence that the containment works. We’ve got to complete the project within time and cost constraints.
I think that on our containment side of it, we completely smashed that one. I don’t think we were anywhere near the cost that they were actually predicting that they’ve done on other sites previously using, as I say, Penstock, heavy technology or the products, they’ve spent quite a lot more. I think this one here is quite a surprise at just how simple it is if you take the right approach. The other part of it is to educate the designer so what happened here is the designs on this is by Brookes (30:30), so they build sheds ad that’s what they do. The reason I got brought in, I got brought in by the directors of DHL to go and meet with Brad Rooks (30:36) because they’re obviously building a shed. They weren’t aware of CIRIA736 which I find amazing. But they’re building sheds, hundreds of sheds, lots of people are building sheds. Of course, nobody really knows who’s going to move into that shed. If you move in then with your business and you’ve got a permit, et cetera. You’ve then got to consider firewater containment. If we take the approach, let’s build the shed with firewater containment in mind, it’s actually quite simple and hugely a great cost-saving. Just to give you a comparison, we’re also working for Jaguar as I said earlier, there’s a site built by, I think, Winvic site which is a shed that was built for whatever purpose. Jaguar have moved into it. We’ve now got to put containment valves into there and there are 7 containment valves. This site that I’m talking about here has a total of two. So the solution to us was, to start it was we engaged one of our fire experts, one of our independent experts who, actually, I worked with and you saw the drain block earlier, I actually developed the drain block for him as a fire chief back in 2006. He’s now an independent fire expert and what that means is he understands fire and it’s really crucial because some sites might be a controlled burn, you have to understand what the materials are, what type of fire. So, what we’ve done there is the site is completed. There’s a complete study of fire risk prior to actually even building this site. This site isn’t going to be built until next year. But to understand that to start with so we understand what the fire water containment is going to be we’re looking at CIRIA736, one in ten year storm event and above and that allows obviously the site then to understand what the design capacity for a worst case firewater containment needs to be. So, what we’re looking at is trying to make sure that we don’t under capacity, we actually go right to the limit so we can prove to anybody quite simply that digging a hole and making it slightly bigger doesn’t create the cost. But once you’ve built a site and you’ve got to retrofit, that’s when the costs and the complications come in. We’ve built a purpose-built Toggleblok chamber. What we’ve got is two valves, one in front of the other in tandem. If one fails, the other one is going to work because they’re basically very independent of each other. We also made sure that the siphonic drainage which is key and an issue that we get a lot on new builds is the siphonic drainage is going away on its own route because that’s going to be clean. If the roof collapses in a major fire and we’ve got obviously water , we’ve calculated the containment to take that area but whilst there’s a fire and the roof is in place, you can’t stop siphonic drainage as such if it’s raining or a one in ten rain storm event. We witness sites, especially we’ve got a few DHL sites we’ve actually worked on that have got containment valves fitted directly onto siphonic drainage. Not quite sure who would have quoted that or put that in but what that means is that there’s a danger, there’s more of a health and safety risk, you could be blowing manhole chambers in the air with the pressure you can have. So, this is really key on this design we’ve looked at how the drainage is going to work. So, it’s a very basic network of drainage that we’ve brought to a central point. These are 600mill outlets on this site so there’s two valves in tandem, in theory if one fails the other one is always there. So, both valves are working independently of each other even though they’re the same type of design. The best part of it was this site got the environmental approval on principle straightaway and that’s because what we’ve done is, we’ve taken the guidance, we’ve used the guidance to work with us. So, really, I’ve come to the end today. A little bit of, there’s one of my, , books that you can download. I’d really like some feedback, especially, obviously, sorry about the problem we had earlier. That might have cut some of you out or something. I don’t know what quite happened. But please come back to me, I want some feedback really to know what to do. There are lots of case studies. I’ve tried to do it, , within a half an hour, , talk. We’ve worked for lots of companies, big and small, it doesn’t matter. We really want to work with the consultants as well who are designing these sites, these techniques that we’re introducing are something that we don’t always have to deliver, this spill mapping is something I believe that all the civil engineering companies should be doing as a norm. They shouldn’t just be putting a shed up, we should be doing it with that in mind because if you take that for instance we’ve got with Jaguar and the job we’ve got with DHL there is over an 80,000 pound difference between one containment design and the other containment design. Putting it in as a retro is the wrong way to do this. It’s a great opportunity for people designing sites to pick this up and do the spill modelling.
Thanks for listening today and I apologise for the error and I hope that didn’t, , switch some of you off but if you’d like to know more you can always e-mail me. I could talk to you about sites. I’m always happy to come out and do learning lunches which I prefer to be honest, and speak to and see, eyeball the people I’m talking to. Okay, thanks for your time today. Goodbye.
David Cole MSEE
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.