Oil Spill Cleanup
Oil is a complex and damaging substance to clean up when it’s spilt into the environment.
Spills at sea are often where we see the most common oil spills, but those on land can carry just as much risk.
Oil spill cleaning companies like DHI Excavations know how to respond to oil spills with the appropriate knowledge and equipment, focusing on minimising the impact of toxic compounds and removing contaminated land so that it can be dealt with properly.
What to do in the event an oil spill occurs
Oil is a tricky substance to keep track of, making it hard to respond to oil spills if you don’t have the proper training or equipment.
Oil is a thin and lubricious substance, and it famously does not mix with water. Regardless, it can still piggyback off of water, and so its entry into waterways is just as high as for other spills like fuel.
Responding to an oil spill with absorbent pads and booms is a good first step to try and prevent it soaking into the ground or gathering in a large puddle on solid ground.
Booms can be used as barriers along waterways or bent to surround a drain and protect it from seeping oil.
If the oil is leaking from upended drums or tanks, right them as soon as it’s safe to do so. Use an appropriate container to catch the leaking oil if there’s one to hand.
Oil is highly flammable, so keep any potential sources of ignition away from the scene of the spill.
Don’t try to use water to wash the spill away on hard surfaces. The water will only carry the oil along, increasing its chances of soaking into loose ground or running into drains.
Once you’ve contacted us to assist in the cleanup, we’ll leave you with helpful information and guidance to follow while we make our way to your site.
How soon to act and call for assistance
Once absorbent materials have been laid down, a qualified and experienced oil spill cleaning company like DHI Excavations must be contacted straight away.
Oil pollution can kill aquatic life and plants, deposit toxic compounds into water supplies, and impact the health and wellbeing of animals like birds, where the oil prevents their feathers from working as they should.
Oil coats the surface of water rather than mixing in, and this prevents oxygen getting to aquatic animals and plants.
Additionally, oil can impact water treatment plants and affect their equipment.
For these reasons and more, it’s essential that oil is prevented from entering any nearby waterways or sources of groundwater as much as possible. A single litre of oil can contaminate hundreds of thousands of litres of water.
Signs that an oil spill is possible or imminent
Oil spills on hard surfaces can often be easily spotted by the rainbow-like film they create and the way in which oil easily spreads into large puddles.
However, on soil and other loose ground, this can be harder to spot. Oil does give off a distinct smell that can alert those that recognise it, but it’s not as strong as a substance like petrol and can easily be covered up by various other fumes emitted on industrial sites.
Areas that feel slick or hazardous to traverse may be an early warning sign that oil has been spilt somewhere nearby. It could indicate a minor leak that can be stopped before becoming something much larger and more difficult to control.
Other signs that an oil spill is possible or imminent is in poor management of oil supplies or of vehicles on site. Negligent handling of oil supplies can easily lead to a spill through careless behaviour.
This could entail improper handling of oil containers, hazardous stacking of drums, or keeping oil in the presence of nearby waterways that could greatly increase its spread if a spill were to occur.
Oil containers should be routinely checked for signs of damage or corrosion. This care should also be extended to engines and hydraulic fittings, ensuring they’re kept tight and are replaced whenever necessary.
Contact DHI Excavations for oil spills
For help dealing with an oil spill from a swift and experienced team, contact DHI Excavations.
Our land remediation service is built around environmental protection and reducing costs for our clients wherever possible. We will assess your site and follow established best practice, mitigating risks to the environment and helping you get back to work as quickly as possible.
To find out more about our land remediation services and to make an enquiry, contact us today.