Sewage Spilled onto the Quayside

What happened?

30-40 litres of sewage water was spilled onto the quayside during a transfer operation from vessel to sewage truck.  There was no discharge into the sea due to a contained concreted area on the quayside.


Incorrect connection practices – hose hung through the tank hatch

Correct connection with whip check

What were the causes?  What went wrong?

Our member identified the following preliminary causes:

  • An incorrect connection method was used. The correct hose connection was not available on the truck.  The sewage transfer hose was hung through the hatch of the tank and secured by rope only;
  • An unsafe latent condition was left unattended; the unsafe condition was neither reported nor challenged until after the actual spill had taken place;
  • There was a lack of communication – no radio was provided to the truck driver, so there was a delayed response/shut down of transfer pump on the vessel;
  • A company safety management system (SMS) requirement was not followed – a wet bulk transfer check list was not completed.

What actions were taken?

  • Confirm that proper compatible hose connections and whip checks are available for all liquid waste trucks to ensure safe transfer operations;
  • Confirm that all equipment utilized for sewage and oil water transfers are in good condition and certified in line with local regulations;
  • Provide proper communications equipment – in this case, radios for all transfer operations;
  • Re-iterate requirement to complete wet bulk transfer check list for waste oil and sewage transfers.