Faulty Valve Leads to Evacuation

Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013

The operator of a small waste water treatment plant was in the process of receiving a bulk shipment of chlorine bleach used in the treatment process at the facility. Unfortunately, the valve connecting the hose to the tank was not secure. Before the vendor and operator realized what had happened, a significant amount of chlorine bleach was released. The liquid chlorine ran down the parking area and into a small culvert on a neighboring property. The vendor was able to close the valve but the spill had caused the culvert and surrounding soil to he contaminated. Fumes from the release caused an adjacent manufacturing operation to he evacuated. The cost to neutralize the chlorine and remediate the spill was significant and the company was fined as well. The facility had environmental coverage which covered both clean up and fines and would respond to third party bodily injury and business interruption claims should they arise.


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