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A Green Paper on the Application and integration of Radio Telemetry as part of a Spill, Firewater and Pollution Containment System   

December 2010 Eil/wp/RadiotelemetryW-12.2010/01

Application and integration of Radio Telemetry as part of a Spill, Firewater and Pollution Containment System

SUMMARY We offer an extensive range of Radio Telemetry systems manufactured specifically for pollution control applications. This wireless technology has been engineered to the most exacting industrial standards and operates over licence free radio spectrum in the VHF band that is specifically reserved by OFCOM for Industrial Telemetry and Telecommand applications. Included in this range are wireless spill activation call points, ultra-low power receivers, acoustic fire alarm triggers, repeaters and wireless sensor interfaces. Standard features include: Low Power Radio signal proven not to cause interference to existing services or equipment, Narrow band VHF carrier designed to give maximum building penetration. Secure "closed" radio protocol with 4-billion combination secure addressing scheme. Rolling security code. 16-bit CRC error check sum. Optional fault reporting and GPRS messaging service. Automatic repeat of alarm messages. Optional Test Channel. Regular health messages. Range optimisation through antenna choice. Up to 2Km range LoS.

Wireless Call Point RTU These can be placed at strategic points around a site permitting an incident to be reported and/or to activate the pollution control valve at the press of a button. Supplied complete with integrated long life lithium battery and sealed to IP65 these units can be mounted almost anywhere without the need for expensive cabling thus eliminating the need for staff to cross a hazardous area to raise an alarm. The system permits an unlimited number of call points to be used and can be used in conjunction with repeaters to extend range.

Wireless Sensor Interface RTU This unit accepts an alarm signal (closing contact) from a level switch, oil interceptor alarm, PH sensor etc and forwards it seamlessly to the pollution control system. As with the call points there is no limit to the number of units operating on a system and the unit can be either battery or dc operated.

Wireless Acoustic Alarm Coupler RTU With fire water containment, it is essential to have 24/7 system activation that does not rely upon human intervention. The best and simplest way to achieve this is to use our unique wireless acoustic coupler that listens out for the sounding of the fire alarm and relays this message to the containment system control panel. By using acoustic technology we eliminate the substantial cost of adding repeater relays to a fire alarm system.

Wireless Repeater Unit This unit has been designed to assist with the improvement of wireless coverage on large industrial sites. By installing this unit at roof top, it is possible to extend the range of the wireless network to over 5sq km in open areas and in built up areas depending upon topology from between 500m sq to 2Km sq.

PH Sensors These are used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of liquids against the PH scale which ranges from 0 (acid) to 14 (strong alkaline or basic). The scale is not linear so a PH change from one level to another is 10 times stronger or weaker than the previous. The PH scale is actually the concentration of Hydrogen free ions when compared to distilled (pure) water. So PH0 = 10,000,000 times whereas PH7 = 1 and PH14 = 1/10,000,000. All of us are fairly familiar with measuring PH using litmus paper from our High School and University Days. This system uses the change of colour on chemically treated paper to give an indication of the PH level against a colour chart. However, this is not very practical for automatic monitoring hence electronic instruments have been developed that can measure PH giving an analogue or digital output, which can be compared against set limits to trigger alarms and to activate drain closure systems such as the DrainstopperTM or FlapstopperTM in the event of spills, etc. The environment is very sensitive to PH changes. A stream will normally have a natural PH of somewhere between 6 and 8. Normal rain will lie between PH 5 and 6.5. However, fish reproduction is stopped below PH5 and fish will rapidly die below PH4. So spilling vinegar PH3, lemon juice PH2 or battery acid at PH1 can be catastrophic!

Dissolved Oxygen The level of dissolved oxygen (DO) present in lakes and streams is commonly used as an indicator of water quality. Maintaining adequate concentrations of DO is vitally important for supporting fish, invertebrates and other aquatic life.

Companies that discharge nutrient rich substances can have a major impact on the DO level therefore the monitoring and control of discharges is critical. Similarly, spills of substances such as milk and liquid or powdered foodstuffs can have a massive impact on the DO in a body of water. An economic alternative to fitting motorised penstock valves is to use either the DrainstopperTM or FlapstopperTM in conjunction with a spilt produce detector such as a turbidity sensors in the plant and a DO monitor located strategically in the body of water.

Conductivity   Conductivity Sensors are an effective way of determining the presence, absence or the level of water or other conductive fluids. We can supply a range of integrated wireless conductivity sensors that come complete with stainless steel electrodes and use alternating current excitation to ensure that electrode erosion is minimised. Normally the sensors are designed to transmit the status - wet (1) or dry (0), however we can under certain circumstances supply analogue readings proportional to the actual conductivity measured.

Applications Include: Basement Flood Detection Flood Alarms High Tank Level Alarms Low Tank Level Alarms Storm Water Drain Full Detection Spill Detection Excess Flow Detection Sprinkler Malfunction Detection Blocked Drain Detection

IMPORTANT: When using conductivity probes it is best to ensure the media being monitored is free from debris such as rags and large leaves otherwise they can wrap themselves between electrodes causing a false alarm.

Turbidity Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by individual particles and suspended solids in water that individually may are generally invisible to the naked eye but collectively form the haze. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality and its measure can be used as an early warning that something has entered the drainage system. Increased turbidity is often associated with heavy rain where soil / clay can be washed into the water, however it can be used to detect substances such as milk, suspended powders, mixtures, paints, etc that could be spilt and enter the drainage system. Modern sensors are available to measure turbidity. Many of these look at the optical properties of the medium either looking for optical transmission or back scatter (reflection). By deploying turbidity sensors up stream in a drainage system it is possible to close of the exit from a site using a DrainstopperTM or FlapstopperTM at the exit from the site.

Temperature Many processes discharge warm water into the environment, however if the amount of discharge increases and is not detected it can be fatal for the fish and other wildlife, plus damaging on the pocket of the business that is wasting energy. A temperature rise to just 23-25C can be lethal to fish and in summer when the water is already warm a relatively small uncontrolled discharge can devastate a rivers ecosystem. Simple temperature sensors can be suspended in outflows to measure the discharge temperature from a plant. However, research indicates that the temperature of the body of water should also be monitored and the flow regulated to both keep the temperature down and/or the dissolved oxygen level. As with PH and Turbidity, the outflow can be controlled / regulated by using products such as the DrainstopperTM and FlapstopperTM which are very cost effective alternatives than motorised penstock valves.

Water Level Water Level Sensors are used to detect both sewer flooding and river flooding. Often it is not possible to prevent flooding but in areas that are prone to flooding  a few additional tens of minutes warning can make all the difference when it comes to mitigating the effects. Flood gates, air-brick seal etc all take time to fit/close therefore there is little point in having a flood alarm on your front door step - it needs to be remote to give you time! Environmental Innovations manufacture a range of remote level sensing  alarms housed in either stainless steel or GRP enclosures to meet the most demanding needs of both the public and industry. The alarms are available with cable outputs for triggering local sirens or alarms and with GSM,  SMS, GPRS or low power radio communications for remote alarming. To this effect we have developed a surface mounted flood alarm that is specifically intended as a retro-fit that can be installed in minutes on either a solid surface of gravel/ ballast.

Pump Remote Condition Monitoring The RDNET 1000 condition monitoring system measures the vibration signature of pumps,fans, etc. generating a “level” and/or “spread” figure that can be compared with time against a norm and examined for both gradual and sudden changes.

The system can be configured to deliver alarm messages in the event of major failures and warnings when degradation exceeds certain limits. In its simplistic form the output can be simply a digital on / off relay reflecting the state of operation which can be relayed as a digital signal into the sites SCADA/ Telemetry system. In its more complex form both the amplitude of the vibration and its spectral signature are recorded and delivered as two 8 bit values which are logged remotely and compared with time.

Lone Worker Safety Systems A standalone or fully integrated loan worker system can be created using the RDNET 1000 Wireless Call Point. These units can be placed at strategic points around a site and used to summon assistance in the event of an incident. 

The advantage of the RDNET 1000 Call Point is that its operation is not dependant upon the mobile telephone network and call points are available for placement in Zone 2 hazardous areas. Further, at night there is a homing LED beacon within the call point to guide users to its activation button. 

Emergency Spill & Pollution Call Point A standalone or fully integrated Spill Alert System can be created using the RDNET 1000 Wireless Call Points. These units can be placed at strategic locations where spills are most likely to occur such as refueling stages or dosing plants. 

Unlike a burglar alarm panic buttons or fire alarm brake glass unit – the RDNET is fully weatherproof and includes twin location LEDs that permits it to be found easily in poor visibility. The activation button is covered by a waterproof membrane which is further protected by a lift up hinged flap to prevent accidental operation. The two status LEDs also show the status of the call point – green for standby and red for in alarm. 

The message broadcast by the Call Point can be used to illuminate a flashing beacon, sound a klaxon, trigger our Alertcomms messaging system and most importantly close the sites Pollution Containment Valve/s such the FlapstopperTM or DrainstopperTM.    Being both wireless and battery powered installation of the call points could not be simpler and where hazardous areas are involved the Call Points can be supplied with ATEX Zone 2 certification. There is no practical limit to the number of call points that can be installed. Plus with planning sites can be zoned so that either a particular Pollution Containment valve is closed or multiple ones.

Fuel & Chemical Transfer Point Automatic Spill/ Pollution Containment The delivery/collection and transfer of fuel/or chemicals to and from a site is recognised as one of the most hazardous operations and the most likely to lead to a pollution incident.  Mistakenly many believe that because the storage tanks are bunded, that an accident could not happen. However, what needs to be remembered is the tanker stands in the non-bunded areas, the majority of the delivery hoses length also lies outside the bunded area, and the drains in the non-bunded area will either lead to the sewer or the local river or stream. An accident waiting to happen!  With a RDNET 1000 tag fitted to fuel/chemical delivery tanker and a pollution containment valve such as the Environmental Innovations FlapstopperTM or DrainstopperTM fitted within the drainage system under the control of a receiver, the valve can be automatically closed as the delivery vehicle enters the vicinity of the transfer point, thus protecting the drains and converting them into a containment vessel.  The status of the valve can optionally be linked into a traffic light which can be used to inform the driver when it is safe to start the transfer. Once the transfer is complete the driver has to physically acknowledge that he did not spill anything using a key switch or punch key. He then leaves the site and once the vehicle is out of range the valve re-opens and the traffic light returns to red.

Key System Benefits:  The creation of an automatic pollution containment system to protect the un-bunded areas on sites during the transfer of fuel or chemicals.  Eliminates the need for expensive whole site bunding.  Can be used to close off the outlet from oil interceptors to convert them into containment vessels.  Compatible with the RDNET security Friend or Foe and Audit System.  Tags battery life up to 10-years matching the vehicle life. 

Reduces driver fraud and human error.  Can be used to automatically log the arrival and departure times of vehicles.  Reporting via existing telemetry infrastructure and/or cellular network. Jam detection and jam proof incident counter included. Long maintenance free battery life of > 10-years.  100% sealed construction to > IP68.

Security Solutions for Industry Self powered auto reporting the RDNET100 Security Transmitters featuring vibration, tilt and/or tamper activation/detection for the protection of access hatches, manhole cover, doors, valves and other distributed assets in and around works. These units are able to give an early warning of intrusion and can be used to verify or dismiss blackmail threats.

Unlimited numbers of Security Transmitters can be installed at any works. Each security transmitter transmits a regular but unique health message which includes an activation counter and additional security features as rolling codes and error check sums. We believe the activation counter is the key to making this system almost infallible as even in the unlikely event of the transmissions being jammed the units provide a record of the fact that an activation took place once the jamming signal has been removed. The units are totally maintenance free and have a battery life exceeding 10-years, are fully encapsulated to > IP68 standard and are available with ATEX certification to Zone 2 as standard and optionally Zone1.

In summary our solution offers:  Reliable reporting and/or confirmation of intrusion / tampering. Non-evasive upgrade to site security. Option of totally covert or designs with visual deterrent. Reporting via existing telemetry infrastructure and/or cellular network.   Jam detection and jam proof with integrated incident counter. Long maintenance free battery life of > 10-years. 100% sealed construction to > IP68.  Tamper proof health message reporting.

Remote Vehicle Identification Friend or Foe Remote Vehicle Identification. How do you know that a tanker arriving at a remote site is legitimate when number plates can easily be copied? The answer is to use the RDNET 1000 Active RFID Tag. Unlike standard RFID tags which require close proximity for operation the RDN100 can be covertly fitted to almost any part of the vehicle as it actively broadcasts its unique ID over a radius of up to 100m. Irrespective of the weather conditions users can now easily identify single or

multiple vehicles entering a site, even if they are visually obscured. In addition to knowing who is on site the system lets you monitor duration and when combined with the RDNET 1000 Beacon Security system lets you know what they actually did whilst on site i.e. opened a door or operated a valve etc. 

Because of the relatively wide broadcast area of the tags it is possible to hide the reader out of sight even within a building making the system truly covert. The output from the reader can be in the form of a serial data string for direct interface to a telemetry outstation or alternatively delivered via the GPRS network to a remote data server for processing.  Other applications of the tags include vehicle fleet optimisation where departure to arrival times are monitored and the automatic activation of pollution control valves and traffic lights during fuel or chemical deliveries/ transfers. 

In summary our solution offers:  Reliable and positive identification of friendly and unfriendly vehicles. Friend or foe.  Tags are self powered and hence may be fitted to any type of vehicle including trailers. 

Tags can be covertly installed or installed as a visual deterrent.  Dummy tags available.  Reporting can be achieved via existing telemetry infrastructure and/or the cellular network. Jam detection at receiver Long maintenance free battery life of > 10-years  100% sealed construction to > IP68.  Tamper proof health message reporting

CSO Overflow Reduction & Check Valves The RDNET 1000 CSO monitoring system has been designed to deliver advanced warning of rising levels at CSOs or sewers that could lead to spills. Operating using a combination of low power radio and smart antenna technology the system has a number of advantages over comparable GSM/ GPRS based systems and overcomes one of their biggest issues that of unpredictable battery life.   Operating similar to a warning beacon, the RDNET has a battery life of typically 10-years. Transmission reliability is very predictable and there are no running costs or SIM cards to forget to renew/top up.   In locations near to existing infrastructure such as SWT and pumping stations it is possible to create a direct link between the CSO and the infrastructures existing telemetry outstation. In locations where the distance is greater we have a range of compact pole mounted remote telemetry units (RTU) that can be configured to act as Repeaters.  In isolated locations the direct link or repeater can be replaced with a cellular or satellite gateway. From our experience dealing with the rail industry we can testify that locating the cellular device at the top of a pole increases the signal by some million fold, making it far more likely for a reliable connection to the network established. 

We offer a wide choice of transducers to monitor the level within the CSO. These can include float switches, conductivity probes or pendulum flow sticks.  Aside from just raising an alarm - the messages generated by the RDNET CSO monitoring system can be used to close a FlapstopperTM pollution containment valve fitted to CSO outlet. The decision for closure could be qualified locally by taking a feed from a local rain gauge (distrometer) to determine if the excessive level is attributable to rainfall or a blockage etc. Hence, the valve could be closed whenever a non-consented discharge is likely to occur and a simultaneous message sent to summon emergency sewer unblocking teams. 


The first idea involves the dynamic control of the catchment area to reduce the peak flow by strategically introducing FlapstoppersTM at some of the stormwater entry points to the network. Opinion is that only a relatively small percentage reduction in stormwater levels entering the combined sewer could be enough to have a significant impact on the number of spill incidents at certain locations. Dry spill incidents could be contained by using a Flapstopper on the CSO outflow. The FlapstopperTM would be closed off and locked whenever the CSO is about to dry spill. A dry spill would be detected using a combination of local rain gauges and CSO level sensors. Due to the FlapstoppersTM ultra low power requirement it is now practical to install CSO spill mitigation in areas without power, something previously thought impossible.

IS YOUR SITE RIGHT? Use this Environment Agency 10-point checklist to help you make sure Storing and handling oils, chemicals and other risky materials 1. Are storage containers fit for purpose, regularly inspected and maintained? 2. Are storage areas and containers sited away from watercourses, drains and unsurfaced areas? 3. Do storage containers have secondary containment, such as a bund, to contain any leaks or spills? 4. Do you have procedures and training for safe delivery and handling of materials? Waste management 5. Is your storage and handling of waste safe and does it comply with the law? 6. Do you know where your waste goes? Are you sure it’s disposed of correctly? 7. Are you reducing and recycling your waste? Do it and save money. Site Drainage 8. Do you have an up to date drainage plan of your site? 9. Is your site drained correctly? • only clean water, such as roof drainage, to surface water drains. • all contaminated water, such as sewage and trade effluent, to foul drain. Dealing with pollution emergencies

10. Do you have a plan, equipment and training to deal with pollution emergencies? If you answered ‘no’ to any question, or are unsure, use the Environment Agency’s “Pollution Prevention Pays – getting your site right” guidance available from their website or call us for advice 0800 731 9313

FURTHER ESSENTIAL READING The Full DEFRA Guidance on the New Environmental Civil Sanctions : The EA intends to start to use these new powers on 4th January 2011. “”

PPG7 : Refuelling Facilities : Advice on how to protect the environment through the safe delivery, storage and dispensing of fuels. h t t p : / / p u b l i c a t i o n s . e n v i r o n m e n t - a g e n c y. g o v. u k / e p a g e s / eapublications.storefront

PPG18 Managing Fire Water and Major Spillages These guidance notes have been drawn up to assist in the identification of the equipment and techniques available to prevent and mitigate damage to the water environment caused by fires and major spillages. Download full Guidance at “”

PPG21 : Pollution - Incident Response : Good practice guidance to produce incident response plans for dealing with accidents, spillages and fires, to help protect the environment. h t t p : / / p u b l i c a t i o n s . e n v i r o n m e n t - a g e n c y. g o v. u k / e p a g e s / eapublications.storefront

PPG22 : Incident Response – Dealing with Spills : Advice on how to deal with spillages to avoid pollution. h t t p : / / p u b l i c a t i o n s . e n v i r o n m e n t - a g e n c y. g o v. u k / e p a g e s / eapublications.storefront

PPG26 : Safe Storage Drums and Intermediate Bulk Containers : The regulations apply to: tanks (can be permanent or temporary); drums greater than 200 litres capacity; intermediate bulk containers (IBCs); mobile bowsers. All above PPGs are available for download at

PPG28 Controlled Burn This guidance will help you decide when and how to use a controlled burn as part of a fire fighting strategy to prevent or reduce damage to the environment. You should consider this guidance on a site by site basis when developing an incident response plan for your site. Download full Guidance at “”

Fire Service Manual This Fire and Rescue Manual is the first manual within the Fire Service Operations series dedicated to the protection of the environment. This publication provides information and guidance designed to support firefighters, Fire Brigade Service managers, and trainers in their work at operational incidents, training events, and during day-to-day activities. Download full manual here “

ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITY DIRECTIVE 2004/35/EC : The Directive establishes a strong framework for environmental liability based on the "polluter pays" principle, with a view to preventing and remedying damage to animals, plants, natural habitats and water resources, and damage affecting the land. Where the polluter is at fault or negligent powers exist to ensure that the costs as well as

any fines are allocated, in extreme cases prison sentences can be enforced. Download full Directive

If you have any questions about how to make your business safer for your staff and the environment please call YOUR LOCAL CONTACT E

Envirogen Ireland Ltd 83 Upper Dunmurry Lane Belfast BT17 0QD

Email : © “”

WARNING: Produced by Environmental Innovations Copyright 2010, Information contained in this Green paper is given in good faith and may represent the views and opinions of others, where information is sourced from third parties, copyright remains vested with those parties, reference are given to sources wherever possible from which readers are invited to seek confirmation of material facts, where we have expressed an opinion this should be treated as such rather than hard facts, therefore Environmental Innovations Limited or its staff can accept no responsibility for any losses consequential or otherwise for any errors, omissions, opinions stated or any other material contained within this document or from any of the embedded linked documents within.