Chemical Delivery Safety 

Many accidents with chemicals occur during delivery, during offloading or especially when pumping the chemicals into bulk containers at the treatment plant. Depending on the chemical being delivered, if it's in a container, type and size of container, etc., there are a variety of risks for injury to employees and possibly the public. 

In addition, other incidents can create safety hazards to employees or to the public:

  • The wrong chemical is delivered to the plant and mixed with an incompatible chemical
  • The wrong chemical is delivered to the plant and incorrectly added to the drinking water or effluent
  • The correct chemical is delivered, but at the wrong concentration, resulting in over/under-dosing
  • The correct chemical is delivered, but connected to the wrong tank, mixing with incompatible chemical
  • A toxic chemical is delivered by a saboteur or terrorist

These are just some examples of things that can go wrong with chemical delivery and transfer. ​

General Guidelines for Chemical Delivery 

  • ​​Chemical specifications should be detailed, to include quality control documentation. Specifications should also include requirements for the supplier to provide adequate security measures; proper training and certification for all delivery personnel; identification of delivery personnel (photo ID badges); personal protective equipment for driver; proper labeling of delivery truck/tank and connections
  • Chemical supplier must provide a list of current drivers' names
  • Develop a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for chemical deliveries, and train all operators accordingly
  • Use the SOP to create a Chemical Delivery Checklist. The checklist should be used for every delivery.
  • Ensure all tanks, piping and connection points at the facility are properly labeled
  • Ensure delivery connections are securely locked, and only unlocked by plant operator accepting delivery
  • The chemical supplier/driver must supply a certificate of analysis to ensure the chemical meets specifications
  • The operator must check the driver's ID badge and check that Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is current
  • The operator must check to ensure the truck placards and labels match the requested chemical
  • Each new delivery driver should receive a short "training" session with the plant operator, with a visual of the delivery site, an explanation of the process; and a copy of the delivery checklist.
  • A plant operator must be present during each delivery. Only a plant operator can unlock the chemical line connectors to facilitate delivery.
  • Both the operator and delivery driver must wear appropriate PPE during the chemical delivery. 
  • The operator must visually check the receiving tank to ensure adequate space exists for the delivery.
  • Drivers must use safety straps on all cam-lock connections during chemical transfer.
  • Prior to transferring chemicals, the driver and operator must check the labels on the delivery truck and the receiving line to ensure the proper chemical is being transfered to the proper tank. 
  • After delivery, driver and operator shall ensure appropriate valves are closed and locked

Information and examples:

Water Treatment Chemical Quality Control Procedures (Australia)

Security Guidelines for Bulk Chemical Deliveries (Massachusetts)