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Environmental Requirements for AdBlue Storage


AdBlue is an aqueous solution of urea, which is stored handled and used according to manufacturer’s instructions and Environment Agency guidelines will pose minimal risk to operators and the environment.

However, please note that Urea is polluting to groundwater and watercourse areas and there have been several serious pollution incidents from spillages already in the UK.


Caution! AdBlue urea solution contains ammonia which is corrosive to some metals, such as copper and its alloys. Consider this when handling adjacent to fuel systems.

The AdBlue stored sealed containers and pipework could expand and fracture in extremely low temperatures. 

If pipework could become corroded or burst at low temperatures then there is a risk of an accidental release into the environment.

AdBlue must be kept out of surface water drainage systems and prevented from discharging into the environment.


Caution! AdBlue will not be removed by an oil separator. Isolate drainage from your dispensing area from the surface water system in order to reduce the possibility of an accidental release leading to pollution.

Any leakage of AdBlue into the environment is an offence and is against the law.

Both the Environment Agency, SEPA and the APEA encourage the use of a bunded tank and/or secondary containment for both bulk and containerised AdBlue storage.

It’s important that AdBlue is stored in containers that are specifically designed and manufactured from materials that are suitable for use with urea. This also applies to all handling and dispensing equipment, such as valves, dispensing nozzles and pipework.

Spill Response Planning

Calculate Spill Kit Volumes

A suitable spill kit is sized accordingly to ensure that there is sufficient absorbency to respond to a typical spill. The spill kit stock should be sufficient to accommodate the maximum number of possible spills.

The following table rationalises our spill kit algorithm as included within technical standard CFS100 for a typical installation using 19mm ID pipework/hoses.


  • Observed filling/refuelling procedure
  • System maintained
  • Cease operation if 3 spills occur within a single work period
  • The spill kit contents are replenished within 3 days of use

The value in the body of the table represents recommended spill kit volume for each dispenser and is obtained from cross referencing dispenser speed against the total pipework length.

    Total pipework length (m)
    3m 4m 6m 10m
Dispenser Speed (litre/min) 5 15 L 15 L 16 L 18 L
10 19 L 19 L 20 L 22 L
20 27 L 27 L 28 L 30 L
35 39 L 40 L 41 L 43 L


Spill Response Drainage and Access Plan

The spill response plan should include a schematic of the site layout (site plan) and clearly indicate the layout of the site including storage tank/s location, maximum stored quantities, access details and drainage arrangements. It should include details of:

  • Storage locations in relation to buildings
  • Secondary containment
  • Access routes and points for emergency services
  • Drains (both foul sewers and surface water sewers) and direction of flow
  • Spill response equipment and hydrants location/s
  • Location of oil separators/interceptors
  • Any watercourse, spring, borehole or well located either within or near the site
  • Porous ground and surface water outfalls

In addition to sizing a suitable spill kit, additional protection to drains is essential.

Each drain within the potential spill area should have an emergency drain cover readily accessible for in the event of an emergency spill.

The location of all spill response equipment should be noted within the spill response plan.


Accidental Release Measures

No action shall be taken involving any personal risk or without suitable training. Evacuate surrounding areas. Keep unnecessary and unprotected personnel from entering. Do not touch or walk through spilled material. Put on appropriate personal protective equipment.

Avoid dispersal of spilled material and runoff and contact with soil, waterways, drains and sewers. Inform the relevant authorities if the product has caused environmental pollution (sewers, waterways, soil or air).

Incident Spill
Stop leak if without risk. Move containers from spill area. Dilute with water and mop up if water-soluble. Alternatively, or if water-insoluble, absorb with an inert dry material and place in an appropriate waste disposal container. Dispose of via a licensed waste disposal contractor.

Emergency Spill
Stop leak if without risk. Move containers from spill area. Prevent entry into sewers, water courses, basements or confined areas. Wash spillages into an effluent treatment plant or proceed as follows. Contain and collect spillage with a suitable absorbent material and place in container for disposal according to local regulations. Dispose of via a licensed waste disposal contractor.


Spillage and Disposal

Methods of disposal

The generation of waste should be avoided or minimized wherever possible. Disposal of this product, solutions and any by-products should at all times comply with the requirements of environmental protection and waste disposal legislation and any regional local authority requirements.

Dispose of surplus and non-recyclable products via a licensed waste disposal contractor. Waste should not be disposed of untreated to the sewer.

Empty small pack containers which are recyclable should be emptied and rinsed clear from residual product before being sent for recycling.

Within the present knowledge of the supplier, this product is not regarded as hazardous waste, as defined by EU.