[ID] => 10004
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-08-22 09:26:03
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-22 08:26:03
[post_content] => The UK is becoming more susceptible to extreme weather and businesses are being forced to view flooding as a growing concern – one that needs to be better understood and mitigated against. For organisations storing and transporting hazardous goods, extra risk is attached to rising waters, which could lead to pollution, litigation and downtime.
From the floods of 2015/2016 to the heavy snow much of the UK experienced last winter, factors such as climate change and urbanisation are leaving increasing numbers of businesses at risk. Just one of the storms from 2015/2106 – Desmond – cost the UK economy around £5bn; a huge amount of money that filtered down to the bottom-line of businesses across the UK. From lost days due to staff being unable to get into work, to long-term damage to assets such as stock, equipment and machinery, even businesses that didn’t suffer directly may have been hit by disruption to their supply chain.
More than ever before, a proper understanding of the likelihood of flooding, regular maintenance of assets at risk and the implementation of appropriate flood plans should be taken seriously, to limit damage and the potential of negative environmental impact. The latter is of particular concern for businesses dealing with hazardous substances where the risk goes beyond operational issues to a duty of care to prevent pollution and keep people safe.
MAKE A PLAN
A Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) will help businesses assess the likelihood of a flooding event so that they can decide how best to protect themselves. In the short term, businesses can sign up the Environment Agency’s flood alert service, which will provide notification when adverse weather conditions are on the horizon. Adler & Allan has developed a Flood Risk Mapping Platform, FloodMarshal™, which draws on live and historic data to provide an accurate and immediate assessment on the probability of flooding.
Business that find themselves at risk should enlist the support of a local flood responder. If flooding does strike, they will have the expertise and equipment to help lessen the impact and be able to provide clean-up and pollution prevention services afterwards so that businesses can get back up and running again as quickly as possible.
Key to reducing the risk of damage is the implementation of a regular inspection and maintenance regime for assets. In bulk liquids terminals, tanks and bunds are vital to containing hazardous substances so it is essential that they are kept in good order. Where substances are stored on site, drains should be clear and, for fuels in particular, separators must be kept clean and fully operational so that in the event of a flood any excess water can flow away safely.
Responsible businesses understand the challenges of a changing environment and know that preparation is essential to mitigating the risks to business continuity. That includes having local first response measures such as A&A Soakbags™ and appropriate spill kits are on site. Further, permanent flood defences will make the site more resilient to rising water levels.
THE PROBLEM OF WATER
Water ingress can contaminate product, particularly in the case of fuels. When water gets into a fuel storage system, both the fuel and the tank itself are put at risk. The water introduces microbial bacteria to the system and this contamination almost always leads to the corrosion of the metal parts of the tanks and the associated dispensing equipment. This corrosion will produce sludge, which will then contaminate the fuel; if contaminated fuel is used in an engine, it can lead to the degradation of parts.
The age of the tank has no bearing on potential damage - new tank systems seem to be equally as susceptible as old. Problematic levels of rust and sludge have been seen as a result of microbial contamination in as little as 6 to 12 months.
Apart from regular maintenance, protective coatings and linings will provide an additional barrier, helping to stop leakage, water ingress and corrosion, while extending asset life – a useful step whether flooding is an issue or not.
Since 1988 the UK has been subject to at least one major flood every year, with the risk, severity and frequency on an upward trend, leaving more of us likely to suffer on a regular basis. At the moment, as many as 500,000 commercial properties are located in flood affected areas. For many it’s not a case of ‘if’ flooding happens, but ‘when’.
Adler & Allan offer a 360° flood resilience service, providing businesses with support before, during and after a flood, including access to the latest innovations in flood data mapping and the very best flood mitigation measures. Should the worst happen, A&A is able to deliver 24/7 emergency response and clean-up, 365 days a year thanks to its nationwide team. For more information, visit: https://flood.adlerandallan.co.uk/.
[post_title] => Flooding: Sink or swim
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[post_name] => flooding-sink-swim
[post_modified] => 2018-09-04 14:50:11
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-04 13:50:11
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[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10004
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Ahead of this year's TSA Conference, Alan Scrafton of Adler & Allan looks at protecting terminals and the environment from the increasing risk of flooding