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Slurry pits and lagoons

Hazard Knowledge

Slurry pits may be above or below ground and are constructed from different materials including earth, plastic, concrete, fibreglass or metal. Slurry is also stored in lagoons.

Slurry is broken down by bacterial action that produces gases, especially when agitated. Slurry gases include methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide, which could be toxic, flammable or an asphyxiant.

Slurry pits may form a crust and could be covered in organic material such as algae, grass and weeds. If their presence is not known, and especially in poor light, there could be a risk of fire and rescue service personnel falling into a slurry pit.

The slurry pit may be in a poor condition, or have been affected by the incident. If this is the case, there is the potential for structural collapse and release of the contents of the pit.

Slurry contains biohazards; people or equipment could become contaminated.