Television production is a multi-million-pound business, and when the stakes are that high, any interruption to a schedule can cost an awful lot of money, and create an awful lot of stress.
It needs to be put into perspective of course – it is an entertainment business. While it is serious, and the provider of many jobs, there is no risk to the wider world when things go wrong. Nobody is under major threat, and neither is the environment.
An oil spill, of course, does carry a major threat. For humans, prolonged exposure to oil from a spill can lead to respiratory issues, decreased immunity, liver damage, reproduction complications and an increased risk of cancer.
Oil also has a suffocating impact on the environment – it can poison plants and trees, artificially affect the PH level in the soil to prevent any growth and contaminate waterways. It can also directly smother small animals and poison larger ones. Put simply, an oil spill is a major disaster that needs to be rectified immediately.
In Hyde Park recently, these worlds collided. The night before filming was due to begin for a new Netflix documentary in Hyde Park, a major oil spill clean up occurred. The main road going through the park was badly affected.
It was a Friday night. Not only was filming due to start in a matter of hours, but also one of our country’s busiest parks was incapacitated at the start of a weekend. The plants, trees and animals were all under threat. Something needed to be done, and quickly.
Now, I think we can safely say that nobody on our team here at Ideal Response joined the company in order to get a taste of the razzle-dazzle of showbusiness. The beauty of this work though is that when you are renowned for doing a good job across all kinds of industries, you never know who is going to be on the other end of the phone when it rings…
The Ideal Solution
As ever, we were prepared for anything. We were onsite within 2 hours of the call, and immediately got to work. We decided that two teams would be needed to match the requirements of the job, and to get the job done with as little disruption to the wider world as possible.
You will be able to see from the photos the scale of the situation when we arrived. The spill had spread over a large area. It was dark, we were on a busy road and we had no access to power or water, so we had to be creative with our solution.
First of all, we needed a roadblock in place, with the help of the police. This gave us the time and space we needed to approach the job properly.
Next, we deployed our Dirt Driver – a diesel-powered hot washer, which not only worked directed on the spill but also acted as a source of power and water for our other equipment – including floodlights.
The Dirt Driver used steam to help dislodge the oil, and we used this in conjunction with our rotary scrubbers to wash the oil. Then we used our industry-leading Wet Vacs to remove the oil from the road, before disposing of it responsibly.
By 3 o’clock on Saturday morning, we had completed the job. The road and surrounding area had been completely cleared of oil, with little-to-no impact to the surrounding environment, and zero impact on the filming of the Netflix documentary.
The speed and efficiency form our teams meant that this, potentially catastrophic, situation was barely known to the people of London – even those that lived close by.
And if the good people of Netflix are reading this – we think our team deserves a documentary of their own – wouldn’t you agree?