Spill Guide

A spill outdoors may run straight into the stormwater system and pollute the nearest stream, river, beach or groundwater – unless you know what to do and do it immediately.

Even seemingly harmless things like sugar or milk are lethal to stream or sea life. Biodegradable substances like foodstuffs, and some cleaning agents as well as many other everyday substances like petrol, harm our environment.

Every spill must be cleaned up, to:

  • protect staff safety.
  • prevent water pollution.
  • allow safe, prompt disposal.
  • minimise your environmental liability.
  • If spills get down the stormwater grate and into the environment:
  • contamination will affect a wide area.
  • members of the public may be placed at risk.
  • controlling the pollution is much more difficult.
  • clean up costs are greatly increased.
  • enforcement action could be taken against your company.


Spills - What To Do

1. Be Safe

  • What is it?
  • Do you need additional safety gear?

3. Protect Stormwater

  • Contain the spill with absorbent socks or booms.
  • Block off access to stormwater grates with drain covers.

5. Clean Up

  • Neutralise hazardous substances.
  • Pump or sweep into a safe container.
  • Clean up within the contained area with absorbents suited
    to the split liquid.
  • Stop wash water or sweepings getting into stormwater
    grates or soil.

7. Restock And Review

  • Replace absorbent materials and PPE equipment.
  • Review the incident - what can be learnt?

2. Stop The Source

  • Turn off the tap, plug the leak or roll the drum over – if it
    is safe to do so.

4. Notify

  • Tell your supervisor.
  • Inform other agencies if needed.

6. Dispose Responsibly

  • Call your waste disposal contractor to take away
    contaiminated materials and clean up gear or clothing.


Who to Call When You Have a Serious Spill

  • 111 Fire, Police, Ambulance.
  • Your Supervisor or Company.
  • Your council's dangerous goods inspector or environmental health officer.
  • Call 0800 POISON (764 766) National Poisons and Hazardous
  • Chemicals Information Centre.
  • Your company's waste disposal services contractor.

(Source: www.ecan.govt.nz)