resolve to help clean up the waterways in 2020
over 120,000 litres of fuel and oil pours into our waterways annually
more than 24 environmental ‘near misses’ or pollution incidents a month
lack of bilge filters a key reason
Over a 12 month period, RCR logged 292 call-outs, around 24 a month, as ‘environmental near-misses’ or pollution incidents. These were typically fuel, oil, coolant and antifreeze leaks into bilges caused by cracked filter pipes, spills into the engine bay, battery acid spillage and contaminated bilges.
During their call-outs, RCR engineers failed to find any boats with bilge pump filters fitted and similarly, the Boat Safety Scheme reports its examiners ‘rarely find’ a filter, estimating 1% or less of boats use one to prevent harmful hydrocarbons entering the waterways.
To help tackle this issue, RCR launched Bilgeaway. Its filter extracts contaminants from bilge water, renders them non-reactive and leaves the contents in a cartridge which can be disposed of and the housing re-used.
Anti-pollution campaigner, Oil Care, says that over the past five years oil has consistently been among the UK’s top three pollutants and confirms just one litre of oil can contaminate one million litres of water.
Operations director, Jay Forman, comments: “Oil Care’s figures suggest 120,000 litres of pollutants can potentially contaminate the equivalent of the entire UK daily water supply or 48,000 Olympic size swimming pools. This is frightening, so rather than opting for the common New Year resolutions such as less excess when it comes to eating and drinking, why not go for less excess pollution – we can all do our bit to clean up the waterways.”