People urged to stay away from stretch of Sunderland riverside as diesel spill clean-up operation continues more than two weeks on

People are being urged to continue staying away from a stretch of Sunderland riverside as a clean-up operation continues more than two weeks after a diesel spill.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 3:02 pm

Sunderland City Council is reminding people to keep following precautionary public health advice after the red diesel spill from a tank at its South Hylton depot which happened overnight on Monday, November 8 and Tuesday, November 9.

Although, the local authority said the risk to public health remains low, it is asking people to stay clear of the area.

The council said: “Fuel ran into a beck at the back of the depot which leads into a culvert exiting at Pottery Lane, South Hylton. The council has been working with partner agencies on the response to the incident, including the containment, clean-up and monitoring.

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The clean-up operation continues after the diesel spill.

“No significant impacts on the River Wear have been identified.

“Investigations of ground conditions are continuing and at this stage it is understood that the risk to public health remains low.”

As a precautionary measure, people are being advised to:

Avoid the affected beck and culvert area, with signage in place advising people of this Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after coming into contact with any spills of diesel or affected river water - do not just rely on hand gels but wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water Do not touch your face without washing hands first or whilst washing hands If you have been doing water sports in the affected area please make sure equipment used in the water is thoroughly washed after use If you have been near the affected site please take extra care when returning home when removing outer garments such as shoes and wash hands thoroughly afterwards If you have existing health conditions e.g. asthma or chest problems, make sure that you have your medications handy and if you develop symptoms you are concerned about contact NHS 111 or your GP in the usual way.

Members of the public are also being asked to report any visible or odour evidence of diesel if they come across it to the council on 520 5550.