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Pronal OFR series stoppers enable plug-in environmental protection to meet new regulations

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Pollution incident response plans now required of industry are part of the recently amended environmental protection regulations, which include pre-emptive actions to be taken to minimise or prevent any risk of harm to human health or the environment.

These amendments are particularly relevant to organisations using trucks, trains, conveyors and loading facilities near sensitive waterways and coastal areas.

According to pneumatic isolation, actuation and safety product specialist James Maslin, the regulations are helpfully designed to assist industry to properly plan environmental protection with industry also very clearly aware of the increasing cost of spills.

Mr Agar, who is National Sales and Marketing Manager of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, exclusive national distributor of the global Pronal range of rapidly inflated pipe stoppers and emergency response equipment adds that trucks, transport and materials handling facilities operating over large areas of concrete or drains near water can be a toxic spillage risk, which must be prevented.

Mr Maslin points out the increasing relevance of emergency pipe stopping technology for diverse industries, which have found themselves overtaken either by metropolitan urban sprawl or by public concerns about environmental issues in remote locations involved in resource development.

He explains that these previously secluded plants are now operating in the midst of residential developments and heritage or sensitive waterways used by many people. The resources boom has also increased environmental pressure on remote waterways and coastal areas where huge expansion in production is creating corresponding expansions in processing, trucking, loading and ports facilities.

All these trends bring commensurate increases in environmental risk that must be protected against under the recent Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Pollution incident Response Management Plans) Regulation 2012.

Air Springs Supply  recently supplied the proven Pronal range of large diameter pipe stoppers to a major industrial concern located within a Sydney residential area and adjacent to a heritage waterway. The national defence contracting organisation operated from an extensive facility and had its own sub-surface issue with a storm drain extending through the plant and into a surrounding bushland waterway leading to a major waterway to Sydney Harbour.

The internationally proven Pronal range of large-diameter pipe stoppers is designed for rapid inflation to prevent accidental pollution of waterways. Similar stoppers have also been adopted by Visy Beverage at Smithfield in Sydney, which has installed a Pronal OFR anti-pollution stopper as a precaution against industrial waste seeping into a stormwater drain passing through its production site.

The easily actuated Pronal large-diameter stopper would be permanently located in the main storm water drain at the defence contractor’s facility so that in the event of a chemical pollution spill, the stopper could be quickly and remotely inflated to prevent any pollutants flowing out directly into the neighbouring heritage stream before flowing out into the harbour tributary.

The stopper is permanently fixed to a central steel axis pole with three supporting feet per end, which bolt to the inside wall of the pipe.

A surface-mounted control box complete with valving and control equipment was supplied with the stopper. An air or nitrogen cylinder installed inside the box enables remote inflation when activated by pressing a large red easily visible and easily accessible button.

The rugged OFR series plug was custom-fabricated to the customer's requirements by Pronal.

Pronal’s OFR stoppers find use in various applications from building and construction projects (including engineering, electrical and energy utility tasks) to emergency services, food and beverage production, government, materials handling, manufacturing, mining and onshore and offshore resources development, mineral processing, primary product processing, petroleum, quarrying, transport workshop and water and wastewater developments.

Pronal's anti-pollution plugs are permanently fitted in water and sewerage lines ready for rapid inflation by remote triggering to quickly stop the pipeline as soon as a spill emergency arises in industrial, civil and municipal applications. Actuation of the plug is simple and virtually instantaneous.

Major industries in Australia and overseas have employed Pronal plugs in pipelines leading to creeks and ponds that could be devastated by spills of chemicals and waste.

Key features and benefits of Pronal’s OFR stoppers:

  • Environmental and OHS solution that is simple to use in an emergency
  • Rugged multi-use technology designed to withstand extended life in a drain
  • Quick inflation provided by gas cylinder method or alternatively by connection to pneumatic systems
  • Inflated plugs act as a barrier to toxic fluid spill or spreading of firefighting water into different pipelines
  • Protected by a polyethylene cover to counteract effluents aggression
  • Available in standard cylindrical lengths of 950-2200mm
  • Ovoid, elliptical and other shapes on request
Pronal's OFR stoppers complement Air Springs Supply's broader range of Pronal pipe stoppers. The Pollu-Plug from Pronal has been designed for smaller diameter pipes down to 150mm. In its un-inflated state, Pollu-Plug is permanently mounted flat, conforming to the arc of the top half of a pipe. Once triggered remotely, it will expand to fill the entire diameter of the pipe.

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