United Rentals mitigates Environmental Emergency with ‘High Level’ Response

Damaged Sewer Main - Saltburn

In February 2022, United Rentals 'mobilised operations' to a damaged sewer main with the potential to cause severe environmental pollution prompted an emergency callout from Northumbrian Water Group. The closure of a busy car park in Saltburn was subsequently sanctioned to allow emergency works that would lessen the impact of a sewage spill, following works which damaged a sewer pipe and led to sewage flowing onto the beach in North East England.

Third party damage to sewer pipe

The pipe, underneath the car park at Cat Nab, a prominent hill on the seafront at Saltburn, was damaged by a third party working on behalf of the local Redcar and Cleveland Council. The contents of the pipe began spilling into the beck which continues onto the beach, risking pollution of a stream known as Skelton Beck that flows directly into the North Sea. The pipe required emergency repair work over a number of weeks and people were warned to stay away from that area of the beach. 

Emergency Response Team

An emergency response team was set up to carry out practical measures to mitigate the incident, consisting of Northumbrian Water, Selwood and United Rentals. In the first phase Northumbrian Water set up a "bespoke" water treatment works in a car park next to the leak. Tankers were subsequently used to transport sewage away and reduce the volume of waste entering the sea. 

The response team decided the best intermediate solution for the emergency bypass was to utilise pumps located at an existing pumping station which were situated opposite the car park at the site of the leak. During the installation process, it was agreed by Selwood, Northumbrian Water Group and United Rentals that a separate temporary sewage treatment plant was immediately required.

United Rentals UK reacted to this developing environmental emergency by providing a high level ‘same day’ response to support Northumbrian Water Group. The team efficiently mobilised plant and equipment that would expedite the process in the designated time. The installation by the United Rentals team was successfully assembled and commissioned within 24 hours in the most extreme and challenging conditions. A first line of screens captured the raw sewage using a Rotary Drum Sieve, before a series of filtration tanks were installed to treat and clean the contaminated water prior to its safe release into the beck. Power for the self-contained system was provided by a super-silent, fuel efficient diesel generator, also from United Rentals. 

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Senior spokesperson - United Rentals

A senior spokesperson for United Rentals stated “The team created a robust and effective solution which prevented considerable damage to the environment in an extremely testing situation. The project application and installation was carried out in a highly professional manner which provided an efficient and successful outcome for the local ecosystem and return a safe and normal service to the residents of Saltburn.”

United Rentals UK Ltd, formerly known as BakerCorp, provides cost effective rental products for the transfer, containment and treatment of liquids and power generation.