An Example Of Innovative Spill Response

The company specialises in the forging of metals and as such most of the machines on site require an array of different types of hydrocarbon based fluids on a daily basis for general maintenance and manufacturing processes. The site has a series of generators and back generators with diesel tanks.

More importantly, the site is positioned in such a manner that a water stream (indicated in red in the picture) literally flows through the entire site and many of the drains in the yard lead directly to the water course.

Should a major incident occur this could have devastating consequences to the environment with unlimited fines for the company and adverse media coverage.

Currently the site has interceptors however only certain drains connect to this and a fence boom has been fixed to the far end of the water stream as it exits the site perimeter.

Major Concern

A major incident could occur in the yard as there are many risks from vehicle movements and/or if the interceptor over spills due to a leak, the over filling of tanks which can enter the watercourse.

Internal Solution

All the current spill control procedures are under review, the teams have been through a BSIF accredited 1srt Responder & Spill Awareness course to better understand how they can deal with spill on site and if procedures need to be changed accordingly.

One solution under review is the installation of penstock valves to all the drains leading to the water course, this requires the presence of an individual to go to the valve and manually close the drain off.

The company asked Fosse to investigate the issues and concerns raised and provide a solution to retaining all liquids on site in the event of an emergency spillage.

Proposed Solution by Fosse

Although penstock valves provide a complete closure of drains, the presence of an individual is required and the installation of a penstock requires civil works and can involve major disruptions as the site would require one for every outlet. In a major spillage emergency one individual may have to close all the penstock valves one by one which can take time.

You also have to consider the effects of a major spillage that does not involve individuals. If no one is at the scene of the incident then no one will be closing off the penstock valves and liquids will simply follow the flow. With the above concerns in mind Fosse proposed the pneumatic drain isolation sealing system.

The pneumatic drain isolation system rapidly seals drains, stopping pollution of the watercourse at the flick of a switch. With simple, low cost installation requiring no major civil works, it is far more cost effective than a mechanical gate and penstock valves and is installed in a fraction of the time with minimal disruption to business operations.

The isolation system can be used as a preventative measure to seal drains at times of high risk including deliveries and during site maintenance. It can also be used in an emergency situation, in the event of a spill or fire, to rapidly block the drain preventing hazardous liquids and firewater runoff entering controlled waters.

The isolation system can also be self-activated with the implementation of PH sensors within the drainage system, this will automatically react with the liquids and should the PH level indicate a hydrocarbon leak, it will automatically close all the outlets and report the problem to key personnel eradicating the need for human intervention should a leak occur without anyone’s knowledge.

Going Forward

Customer is considering the options of installing the units onto further sites


  • Isolated the whole site
  • Contains spillages
  • No civil works required
  • Minimal disruption to site activity
  • Self diagnostic check
  • Self activating
  • Full reporting of activations
  • Simple operation
  • Rapid activation