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Innovative approach to Bega oil spill saves $280k

Supplier: Spill Ready
08 October, 2015

Recently 300 litres of engine oil was spilled into a creek in Bega due to a roadside spill, which threatened not only the creek but also Bega lakes.

Obviously any contamination of waterways poses a huge risk to both wildlife and the environment, that’s why a rapid initial response, accompanied by effective clean-up of the water and land is crucial to ensure this risk is minimised.

The challenge was to initially contain the oil to prevent further spread through the aquatic environment, and then to remediate the water and contaminated soil adjacent to the creek.

The solution

The initial spill response involved the deployment of a number of floating booms along the creek, to absorb the oil, but also to stop it from migrating further down the creek. Spill Ready Classic Oil Only Absorbent Pads were then used to float on the water between the booms, and absorb as much floating free oil as possible.

The initial spill response utilised floating booms and Spill Ready Classic Oil Absorbent Pads

Once as much free oil as possible was absorbed using traditional Oil Only Absorbents, remediation of the water needed to take place.

Traditional remediation methods would include the pumping out of some of the water in the creek to remove any residual oil sheen, followed by ‘dig and cart’ of the contaminated soil. This method was estimated at costing $300K, and would also be quite damaging to the creek environment.

Instead S200 Oil Gone was used; this is a new generation bioremediation liquid product that encapsulates the hydrocarbon protecting the environment. It also restricts the spill by flocking encapsulated hydrocarbon and keeps it on the surface which protects the environment.

S200 Oil Gone was applied at the source of the spill using a pump, in nearby drains and at the head of the creek. This resulted in immediate encapsulation of all oil on/in the water, as well as vegetation and creek banks. This encapsulation means an immediate removal of the oil sheen with an estimated bioremediation timeframe of four weeks.

The result

The ultimate result was that Bega Lakes and river was protected from contamination. There were also significant cost savings with a clean-up cost of approximately $20,000, rather than the original estimated cost of $300,000 using traditional ‘dig and cart’ methods.

The clean-up and remediation using traditional oil absorbent materials, along with S200 Oil Gone also meant the clean-up program only took a number of days, and had minimal impact on the environment, versus a lengthy ‘dig and cart’ operation, which would also be much more invasive on the local creek environment.