Keeping liquids in their place

September 29, 2011

The latest addition to Local Generation’s anaerobic digestion plant site in March is the bunding. What is it and why is it a good thing?

Next time you drive past a large container tank set back from the road, look out for a protective barrier built right round it, with gently sloping sides, made of concrete or earth covered with grass, that’s a bund.

In Britain, as in many other countries, bunding is compulsory around tanks storing oil, fuel, or other liquid substances – in this case the liquid in the digestion tanks. Bunds are designed to contain any spillages safely within their walls.

The two-metre high bunding around the main part of the site is made of 3346 tonnes of  engineered clay topped with soil, and in line with Environment Agency requirements, is able to hold 110% of the tank’s volume of liquid.

From one kind of environmental protection to another: the photo above shows the Reception Hall taking shape. At 25 metres x 25 metres, and around 10 metres high, this building will be an important part of the process. Lorries will drive right in and offload their waste food on to the floor of the hall.  Here it will be de-packaged and loaded into the process by our colleagues, for a quick, clean and efficient start to the AD process.

Finally, Local Generation is out to prove that ‘good for the environment’ can also be good-looking. Work started in August on planting the bund with over 14,000 green and graceful sedum plants. These succulent plants (they store water in their leaves) come in a huge variety of leaf forms and flowers and together with the clay and soil bund, provide an eco-friendly alternative to concrete. “We’re going to make the planting project into a powerful team-building exercise,” says Sales, Marketing and Technical leader Dawn Terry. “It’s all part of building sustainability into everything we do at Local Generation!”