Pollutant safety net

WMEC has developed a device that can automatically check for polluted rainwater and make it safe before it reaches waterways and endangers wildlife.


Chichester-based WMEC has developed a device that can automatically check for polluted rainwater and make it safe before it reaches waterways and endangers wildlife.


The device is powered by the sun and wind, and is designed to stand at any isolated point in the countryside to automatically check for contaminates left by vehicles and alkali from the run-off from the limestone substrate used in road building.


Unchecked, these pollutants can drain into ponds that are built alongside motorways and dual carriageways that capture all road run-off, together with chemicals coming from a major spillage in the event of an accident. Water flows from the ponds over sluice gates before entering local streams and rivers.


The WMEC unit constantly monitors the pond water, ready to automatically release decontaminates that will neutralise around 75,000 litres of water a day, keeping it within legal limits and safe for the waterways.


Powered by a wind turbine and photovoltaic solar panel, the unit is backed by an energy store, and while fully automatic, it can also be monitored remotely.


WMEC has won orders for three units and the company said it foresees further interest from across the UK and overseas.