Drainage Plans: Keep them up to Date

Our previous blogs have discussed the importance of drainage plans (read here) and what you can use them for (find out more here).  We have covered why your drainage plan should be used in live situations rather than being filed away, but what happens when there are changes on your site?

What changes affect your drainage plan?

Any site changes have the potential to affect your drainage arrangements, and therefore your drainage plan; it isn’t just physical changes to your drainage network.  For example:

  • Extensions or changes to your building could mean that some manholes are now inside rather than outside and some drains may no longer be accessible
  • Moving operations to a different area e.g. vehicle washing, fuel tanks or waste sorting areas
  • Adding, changing or stopping trade effluent activities
  • Changing your drainage arrangements e.g. adding an interceptor, adding a manhole for effluent disposal etc.

What should you do with your drainage plan?

Following any changes, you should assess the impact on your drains and update your drainage plan.  This could involve altering the building layout to add in any extensions or new buildings that have been built and showing how this affects the drainage network.  You may need to move some areas around like vehicle washing or fuel tanks and make sure your labelling reflects the changes.  You may have sample points for effluent discharge or discharge points labelled that need amending.

If you have physical changes to your drainage arrangements, you will need to alter the drainage plan to reflect this.  It is essential that these changes are accurate and you may want to do some investigation to confirm the drains match up how you expect before making changes to your drainage plan.

Keeping everyone in the know

Once you have updated your drainage plan, it is essential that you update the necessary people to ensure everything is covered.  You should inform your drainage contractor if it will result in changes to your regular planned preventative maintenance (PPM) schedule and you should also ensure your internal spill response team are made aware of the changes.

Changes to your drainage arrangements may impact your spill risk areas, so it is important to review these and your spill response kit to make sure you are covered in the event of an incident.  You may need to move some spill kits around or get new ones for certain areas.  It is also essential that you update all related paperwork along with your drainage plan.  Key documents may be your Pollution Incident Response Plan (PIRP), Site Environmental Emergency Plan (SEEP), spill kit plan and spill response training.

If you make any changes to your site, it is essential to consider the impact of those changes on your drainage arrangements and thus your drainage plan.  You should review the changes and ensure your drainage plan is updated accurately and the relevant people and other documents are updated accordingly.