What first comes to mind when you hear the words ‘oil spill’? Perhaps a gigantic oil tanker pouring litres of oil into the sea, causing environmental devastation, like the huge BP oil spill in 2010? Or a broken storage tank at a power plant, like the one in Russia’s Arctic region in 2020? Or perhaps you think of an oil spill on a road – on average there is more than one every day here in the UK.
Wherever your mind goes, you will doubtless be aware of the catastrophic devastation that an oil spill can cause to the environment. Oil has a clogging and suffocating effect on all wildlife, whether it is preventing soil from absorbing moisture (and therefore killing plants), contaminating water sources or killing wildlife directly.
There is a direct threat to humans as well. Exposure to oil spills can cause all manner of health issues, from skin and eye irritation, through headaches and dizziness to more severe conditions like respiratory disorders, endocrine abnormalities and even psychological disorders. It has also been known to create a higher risk of developing some cancers.
It goes without saying, therefore, that if you experience an oil spill then it is something that you will need to address immediately. The longer it takes you to act, the more difficult the spill is to contain, and the more severe the consequences. What you need is a professional company to come in and solve the problem for you – ideally ones with a 24-hour disaster recovery service, and a promise to be on-site within two hours.
When one of the country’s leading waste management providers discovered an oil spill in Redhill, of hydraulic oil, they knew which company to call. A company that they had relied on many times over the years and who had never let them down.
They called Ideal Response.
The Ideal Solution
When our team arrived on site in Redhill they immediately assessed the extent of the problem, in order to work out the best course of action. The situation was this: a truck had spilt a substantial amount of hydraulic oil over a concrete driveway. No action had been taken to mitigate the spill, our clients had instead decided to leave it to the experts.
The problem was slightly more complicated because, as the spill took place in November, there was a large number of leaves on the driveway that had become contaminated by the oil that needed to be cleared away as well. We had to modify our methods to ensure the job was done properly.
The work was split into three phases:
Phase 1: The first job was to clear the standing oil from the entire site. The spillage had spread all along the driveway, so we acted quickly to prevent further spreading. We used specialised ‘wet vacs’ to hoover up all of the excess oil on the surface of the driveway. All of the oil was then put into storage containers for disposal later.
Phase 2: Next we tackled the leaf problem. As I am sure you can imagine, oil-soaked leaves presented a genuine risk to our team, as well as being no easy task. The only way to get the job done effectively was to manually collect the leaves up, using brushes. We used full personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that our staff remained safe at all times.
Phase 3: Finally, it was time to target the more stubborn build-ups of oil, that were not able to be removed by the wet vacs. In order to do this, we used the environmentally friendly agent OT8. This is a highly effective oil cleaner and degreaser, that works to remove any stubborn sections of oil from hard surfaces, without causing any erosion. For this reason, it is often used on oil spills on roads.
Once this has got to work, we simply used water to rinse it off, before again using the wet vacs to remove all of the remaining oil and water.
Sometimes it is better to let the pictures do the talking – the photos below will give you a clear indication of the result of our work on the oil spill in Redhill. It was a complete success.
We take a lot of pride in doing a good job for our clients, but there is something particularly satisfying about a successful job for a long-standing customer. They have put a lot of trust in us over the years, so to be able to repay that with yet another job well done is incredibly gratifying to our team.