Thursday, 28 April 2016

"Watercourses threatened after digger fire"

A local news story that underlines why 1 metre should ALWAYS be left unquarried above the maximum winter water table when there are surrounding drinking water sources are at risk:
Fuel leaked into watercourses after a 16-tonne excavator caught fire at Northmostown, Sidmouth, this afternoon.
Firefighters have called in the environmental protection unit.
The alarm was raised just before 3.30pm this afternoon, and a spokesperson for the fire and rescue service said: “We received a call reporting a digger on fire, and two appliances from Sidmouth were mobilised.”
An update issued just after 4pm said: “Crews on scene have requested the attendance of the environmental protection unit due to fuel leaking into nearby water courses.
“This was sent with a support appliance from Newton Abbot. Steady progress is being made, and efforts are being made to contain the diesel leaking from the digger.”
The incident is ongoing.
Any diesel fuel contamination at Straitgate could devastate drinking water supplies for over 100 people. For Town Farm quarry, Hanson did recognise the importance of maintaining at least 1m unquarried:
The scheme proposes extraction within the Pebble Beds to 1m above the highest recorded water table level. C3.1
The unsaturated zone above the water table affords protection of the aquifer from surface pollution, allowing adsorption, attenuation and degradation of contaminants prior to reaching the water table. Removal of lower permeability clay layers from within the Pebble Beds could also remove some protection from the groundwater. During the operation of the site pollution may arise from the extraction and restoration activities. The pollution may be in the form of fuel, lubricants and other fluids associated with the operator’s machinery. C3.1