Farm chemical storage sites affected by flooding

Flood damaged chemical storage sites pose a serious risk to human and animal health and to the environment.

If flood water surrounds your chemical storage site or you can see visible damage, approach with caution and only enter if it safe to do so.

Do not enter the site if there is severe damage and it's evident that chemical contamination has occurred.

For major spills, call the Country Fire Authority on 000

Treat water within the site as being contaminated. Avoid your skin coming into contact with it.

Personal protective equipment

Before entering the site, wear personal protective equipment to minimise exposure. At a minimum, wear disposable overalls, rubber gloves and boots, goggles and respirator.

Entry into a flooded chemical storage site

Don't enter a flooded chemical storage site alone. Turn off utilities (electricity, gas and water) until you know it is safe to turn them on.

If the water from your chemical storage site has spilled outside, divert it away from nearby water bodies using sand or soil.

Use your chemical inventory list to account for all chemicals.

  • Check all containers and packages for leaks and damage, taking extra care with wet packages that may break.
  • Take steps to control any spills inside the site (e.g., stand containers upright, close lids or valves, catch leaks using another container, place damaged packages into larger containers).
  • Absorb liquid spills with inert sand or vermiculite.
  • Dusts and powder products in paper or cardboard packages should be disposed of carefully, as they are unusable once they have been wet.  Contact ChemClear – phone 1800 008 182
  • Re-label containers missing labels only if you are certain of their contents.
  • Dispose of containers that can't be identified.
  • Triple rinse and puncture through empty containers and dispose them via a commercial disposal program (e.g., drumMUSTER - phone 1800 008 707) or approved tip.
  • Dispose unwanted concentrated chemicals via a licensed waste disposal company or chemical collection program (e.g. ChemClear - phone 1800 008 182).

What to do with unlabelled containers

If poisoning symptoms appear (e.g. headache, nausea, blurred vision, breathing difficulty), contact your doctor.

Page last updated: 25 Nov 2022