Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Yard runoff from your business

Prevent water pollution form any runoff from your premises

What you must do

Provide adequate settlement capacity for yard run-off and washout from wagons. Where possible, reuse water from settlement within your business processes.

Make sure you take adequate measures to prevent run-off and washout from your site entering and polluting drains and watercourses.

Connect delivery areas to the foul drainage system, as run-off is likely to cause contamination.

You must get permission from your water company or water authority before connecting to the drainage system.

Water UK: Contact your water company

Scotland on Tap: Water and sewerage providers in Scotland

Use roll over bunds, and ramped or stepped access, to isolate the area from the surface water system.

If possible, install pipelines above the ground and protect them from collision damage. If you install a pipeline below the ground, you should:

  • preferably avoid roadways where transient loads from vehicles may cause breaks in the pipe
  • be engineered to withstand all reasonably expected loads and stresses
  • place it in a leak proof sleeve or duct
  • build inspection chambers at its joints, as these are the most likely places for leaks
  • inspect and test it regularly.

Do not connect pipeline ducts to the surface water system.

Good practice

Reducing the amount of water you use may save you money and will lessen your impact on the environment. You can identify areas where you can make reductions by carrying out regular reviews of water use.

Water use and efficiency

Where raw materials mix with water the resulting run-off can be highly polluting. For example:

  • If cement dust on your yard mixes with rainwater, the resulting run-off will be highly alkaline (pH of between 9.5 and 14). Water that is highly alkaline is also highly toxic to aquatic life.
  • Where dry plaster mixes with water, the resulting run-off will be high in suspended solids.

Where yard run-off is likely to have mixed with raw materials or process chemicals, you should not allow it to enter watercourses or the foul sewer without prior written authorisation. Capture it and if necessary, have samples laboratory tested to identify the most appropriate disposal method.

Where possible, rather than washing the area down, you should sweep up spilled materials.

SEE ALSO: SuDS, Preventing water pollution,

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