Pumps can be used to recycle fire water at an incident. It is important that the act of recycling water does not make the situation worse. Consistent recycling of fire water run-off will increase the concentration of pollution, and the risk of spreading pathogens within recycled water spray. Incident commanders should make sure that the recirculated fire water is not harmful to either to personnel attending the incident or the local population.
Recycling water from mixed waste (household waste containing organic material, often nappies and food) should be avoided. For all other recycling sites (wood, plastic etc.) recycling the fire water run-off along with other tactics i.e. controlled burn presents a viable option to reducing damage to the environment.
Disposal of used recycled fire water may also present a problem for the fire service towards the end of an incident. Advice on continued use of recycled fire water run-off and its use and disposal of should be obtained from the:
- Relevant environment agency
- Public health body
- Tactical adviser
- Hazardous materials adviser