The contamination of seawater due to oil pour because of human error, or natural calamity is termed as an oil spill. Over the past four and a half decades, research shows that the number of oil spills from tankers has decreased greatly. In 2010, the average number of large oil spills decreased to 1.7 (> 700 tonnes) oil spills per year. This has only been possible by the constant efforts of companies – both small and large to decrease the oil spills.
Today, as we approach more sustainable ways of living, oil spills continue to be a major problem for the marine ecosystem and in return, human life as well. 700 tonnes of oil in water is still not a small quantity to deal with, and so, mutual collaboration is required to combat the threats posed by this condition.
How can we control an oil spill?
The most important step to tackle oil spills is by taking action at the point of origin itself. There are several standard practices to follow at all places where an oil spill can occur – like at ports, narrow sea channels, industries, offices, and workplaces. These spills can either directly reach the water stream or eventually merge with the water. So, it is essential to stop this crisis before it reaches the stream.
Here are some oil spill solutions that are commonly in use to check the impact of the oil spill in water:
● Oil Booms
If you’re not familiar with Oil Booms yet, it’s time you know why they are so popular in the oil clean-up domain. Oil Booms are highly effective for areas with comparatively small spillage because of their ability to contain the spill. Therefore, they are deployed in areas with a small-spill radius.
After binding oil with booms, it is skimmed or extracted using skimmers. They can fit onto boats and other machinery to extract grease.
The materials that can absorb or adsorb liquids are called sorbents. There are several fibres and sorbents available in the market that work efficiently with small spills.
This technique involves a straightforward approach for burning visible oil on the water body. While burning the oil which is floating, a safety protocol is followed. This method can effectively remove most of the oil spill, about 98%, but it has several drawbacks for the quality of water and the fumes that are created.
Oil disintegration is the final resort solution where chemicals are used to disintegrate the oil directly. This is also a costly procedure.
What can we do at personal levels
- We can assess our workplace environment and understand how we are contributing to the oil spill and sheen.
- Based on your contribution to this disaster, choose the oil spill solution that can work best for you.
- There are several ecologically conscious brands like Adsorb-It, which provide sustainable solutions to prevent oil spill damages from reaching the water bodies.
- Choose from their wide range of products like oil sheen wipes, mini-surfer, boom cover, filtration fabrics, shore guard, vault maintenance system, filter socks, centipede, hula bug, filter boom, boom & dock curtain, contour ditch boom, and oil sweep.
Challenges in controlling oil spill
- Oil spills get critically challenging to tackle in places with an extreme climate.
- Poor visibility and poor infrastructure can pose another challenge in handling oil spills.
- Even aquatic species can migrate with the damages of the spill, further increasing the impact.
- Untreated oil spills stagnant over long periods of time can also get degraded, thus leaving no good use or price for the oil.
We cannot do everything on our own, but we absolutely can do something that creates a big impact. Oil sheen and spill destroying the water table is one catastrophe that we can avoid if we get united. So, get on with analyzing your own workplaces and see what you can do to reduce oil pollution. Let us all do our bits and make the world a healthy place to live in.
Article Submitted By Community Writer