On 20 August 2009, a tanker lorry arrived at the Broad Oak Toiletries factory in Tiverton (UK) to deliver a detergent: sodium lauryl ethoxy sulphate. A company employee assisted as the tanker driver pumped the detergent into a tank, but in spite of this, the tank ended up overflowing.
The emergency spill containment procedure was implemented to recover as much of the escaped detergent as possible. The next day, heavy rain flushed the remaining detergent into the River Lowman. A few hours later, Environment Agency officers arrived at the river and found hundreds of dead fish (salmon, trout, bullheads and minnows). Sodium Lauryl Ethoxy Sulphate kills fish by damaging their gills causing them to suffocate.
In March 2010, after pleading guilty, Broadoak Toiletries Limited were fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £4,196 costs.
Name: Broad Oak Toiletries
Location: United Kingdom
Accident area: River Lowman, at Tiverton, Devon
Cause of spill: Unloading
Type of pollutant: Sodium lauryl ethoxy sulphate
Quantity spilled: Unknown
Structure type: Toiletries factory
Owner: Broad Oak Toiletries Ltd
Last update: 8 June 2010