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by the NFCC

Control measure

Treatment of polluting materials

Control measure knowledge

Aeration

Organic pollutants, such as milk and sewage, remove oxygen from bodies of water. Environmental agencies and specialist contractors can use aeration units or chemical methods to raise oxygen levels. Pumping the affected water into the air through hose jets is a less effective technique that can be used by fire and rescue services, preferably under the direction of the environmental agency.

Chemical treatment

An environmental agency or specialist contractor can employ specialised techniques to treat pollution in a watercourse, for example by using activated carbon or hydrogen peroxide. They may ask fire and rescue services to assist in the emergency phase of an incident where these techniques are employed.

Memoranda of understanding

The use of fire and rescue service resources to assist with the treatment of polluting materials should be subject to local agreements, which may be supported by memoranda of understanding (MoU) with the relevant environmental agencies and specialist contractors.

For more information refer to Foundation for environmental protection - Additional pollution control techniques.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure relevant personnel understand what environmental protection activities will need to be delivered by an environmental agency or specialist contractor

  • Consider establishing memoranda of understanding for assisting environmental agencies and specialist contractors with the treatment of polluting materials

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Assist environmental agencies and specialist contractors with the treatment of polluting materials in line with local agreements or in response to a time-critical situation