Dorset farm pays the price for oil pollution

24th August 2007
The owners of a farm near Wimborne, Dorset were recently ordered to pay 2,241 in fines and costs after diesel escaped into a tributary of the River Stour and caused a pollution scare at a local fish farm. The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

The alarm was raised on January 2, 2007 after the owner of Allenbrook Fish Farm, Wimborne St Giles, reported that the River Allen upsteam of his fish farm was polluted with diesel.

Agency officers arrived to find a 'rainbow sheen' on the surface of the water. Some oil was flowing from the river into the fish farm via an abstraction point. Deflector booms were installed to protect the fish farm and a lake downstream of Wimborne St Giles House. The Agency positioned absorbant booms in the river to capture oil washed downstream.

Magistrates heard that the River Allen is a high quality chalk stream with a healthy population of salmon and sea trout. It flows into the Stour at Wimborne where river water is abstracted at Longham for the local public water supply.

The pollution affected approximately a five mile stretch of the River Allen. The distance from the spill to Wimborne is approximately 10 miles.

The manager of Allhallows Farm, Wimborne St Giles, reported the diesel spill to the Environment Agency. Investigating officers were shown 600 gallon fuel storage tank at the rear of the farm. Fuel had leaked from a plastic sight-glass on the side of the tank and into a nearby ditch where officers saw a 'thick film of red diesel.'

Staff at the farm claimed the storage tank, which was empty, had been damaged either by vandals or fuel thieves. Agency officers noticed that outlet pipes from the tank were plastic and metal and highly vulnerable to accidental losses.

The pollution reached the River Allen via a field ditch and culvert to a concrete structure near the river where the diesel had formed a large pool.

'If diesel fuel is stored on a farm everyone needs to be aware of the environmental damage that can be caused if it escapes into a watercourse. We treated this pollution seriously because it threatened the fish at a local fish farm,' said Julian Wardlaw for the Environment Agency.

Appearing before East Dorset magistrates, St Giles Farms Limited, of The Estate Office, Wimborne St Giles, Wimborne were fined 1,000 and ordered to pay 1,241 costs after pleading guilty to causing noxious, poisonous or polluting matter to enter controlled waters at Allhallows Farm on January 2, 2007 contrary to Section 85(1) and (6) of the Water Resources Act 1991.
 
 
Important Information: TankDepot.co.uk does not under any circusmtances recommend the fitting of any form of storage tank gauge directly to an oil tank outlet or to the oil supply line. Additionally, as a responsible storage tank supplier we do not supply sight gauges which can represent a potential pollution risk. Instead, TankDepot.co.uk recommends that any oil tank contents gauge is fitted above the maximum level of oil inside the tank.


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Article Last Updated 24th August 2007
 
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