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If you are involved in commercial or industrial activity, it is your responsibility to prevent unauthorised discharges. In most cases, the actions required to minimise the risk of an unauthorised discharge are minor (for example, modifying a process or bunding a storage/activity area). Business owners/operators should: 

  • Store liquids, chemicals, oily or contaminated materials in protected undercover areas, away from high traffic areas. Storing substances in water-resistant, bunded enclosures enables leaks or spills to be cleaned up before they can escape into other areas of the workplace or the environment.

  • Store waste bins with their lids closed to protect them from rain. Used containers should be stored inside, not outside, with their lids securely fastened.

  • Wash down vehicles and contaminated parts in dedicated, self-contained washdown bays or enclosures. Wastewater, along with washwater from mopping or hosing down workshop floors and cooling system overflow/bleed off should be recycled or disposed of through an authorised wastewater disposal system. 

  • Carry out potentially contaminating processes inside a building—in a bunded workshop or booth where possible. Materials and equipment should also be stored inside. If there is an accidental discharge of a contaminating material, the chances of it entering the environment are greatly reduced if the activity is being conducted indoors.