Articles & Case Studies

A greener way to clean up

Posted: Thursday 15th March 2012

Electricity distributor UK Power Networks has devised an innovative way to make sure unwanted water is as clean as possible when it is pumped on to the ground or into drains.

Following a brief from the company, pollution prevention specialist C I Agent Solutions created a lightweight, high-visibility device to attach to the end of pump hoses. The filter in the bag collects sediment and up to 2.5 litres of oil from water that needs to be removed from excavation sites.

The outflow pipe from the pump is placed into the filter and secured using a tie. All the water is then pumped through the device which collects the sediment and oil. Once pumping has finished, the sediment can be disposed of in general waste containers, provided it is not heavily contaminated.

The filter can then be reused multiple times, until the indicator strip shows that it is no longer effective, at which point it will be disposed of in appropriate containers. Instructions for use are printed on the filter, which has been tested in industry laboratories.

UK Power Networks staff will use the filters in all operations where holes contain unwanted water, except where pumping is continuous or the water is heavily contaminated.

Once attached, the bag is placed on a grass verge or along the roadway in the direction of the nearest downstream drain so that the water can flow out of the bottom of the bag and towards the drain.

The filter came into use at UK Power Networks on September 9 and is already proving a success.

James Nicholl, an environment advisor with the company, said: “Every company has to consider the effect they have on the environment and this is very important to UK Power Networks as we work out in the community. In fact, two of our key priorities are to be a respected corporate citizen and sustainably cost efficient. This innovation fits in with both those aims.

“And for people living and working in the area, the filter bag helps to reduce the amount of silt that normally ends up on the road surface. This can look unsightly and sometimes be a hazard for vehicles. The filter will diminish both those problems.”




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