Ipswich: River spared from fuel spill

Swift action by the Environment Agency has averted a potential disaster after a major petrol spill.

Around 420 litres of fuel spilled out of a pump at Asda petrol station, off Bury Road, on Wednesday night, and it was initially feared the fuel had leaked into the surface water drainage system which comes out in the River Gipping at Bramford causing problems for wildlife.

Environment Agency spokeswoman Rita Penman said absorbant pads were placed on the river at the pipe’s exit to soak up fuel as a precaution in case it reached the river but drainage checks yesterday revealed no petrol had escaped from the supermarket site.

“The surface water outfall into the River Gipping was boomed yesterday as a precaution,” she added. “The booms will remain in place whilst the investigation continues.”

It was originally reported that around 1,300 litres of fuel had spilled which was caused by a leak under a forecourt pump but a spokeswoman for Asda confirmed only a third of that amount had leaked.

She added: “We have carried out our own investigations and it appears 420 litres was spilt – significantly less than was first thought.

“The filling station was fully reopened yesterday morning which was good news for our customers and we will continue investigating the cause of the spill and the clean-up operation.”

Most Read

The road and access to the petrol station was closed on Thursday morning while investigations were carried out while the fire service remained on site for fear of an explosion if the volumes of petrol fumes got too high.

Asda will now employ contractors to carry out exploratory work to locate the escaped petrol before a decision is made on how to clean-up the ground.

The Environment Agency will continue to investigate the spillage with Suffolk County Council Trading Standards.

n What do you think about the spill? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter