CASE STUDY: Spill Contractor, Kentucky
Responding to an oil spill that has reached a stream is a common task for spill response companies. As such, most responders are well-versed in creating underflow dams. Underflow dams are a simple, effective way to capture oil and floating debris on the top of a stream or creek while allowing the clean, uncontaminated water at the bottom to keep flowing. Underflow dams are usually created using sandbags and pipes.
Accessing an impacted stream, however, can be a challenge. Streams and creeks are often in wooded areas, making it impossible to drive up to the spot with a trailer full of supplies. And, sometimes the banks near streams can be steep, making it difficult for responders to get to the area themselves, let alone with the equipment needed to create a dam.
This was exactly the situation faced by Environmental Management Services (EMS), a spill contractor responding to an oil spill at a facility that got into a creek and was headed to a nearby reservoir. The steep grade of the banks and a thick undergrowth of trees and vegetation meant that sandbags and pipes would need to be carried in manually – two sandbags at a time. Even with the full team committed to dam-building, this would still take at least 3-4 hours to construct, risking impairment to the reservoir.
Fortunately, EMS stocked Instant Underflow Dams in their trailer. “Using the Instant UnderFlow Dam in this specific instance allowed us to stop the flow of impacted water from traveling downstream, which would have impacted a local drinking water lake in a matter of minutes. Having the Instant UnderFlow Dam in our arsenal allowed us to show up on site, assess the impact and stop the flow of oil downstream within 10 minutes. The Instant UnderFlow Dam remained in place for 4 days and worked flawlessly the entire time.” says Tim Acri, COO.
Instant Underflow Dams weigh less than 60 pounds and are portable; allowing one responder to carry them wherever they are needed. They are also designed for fast deployment. Two or three people can fully deploy the Dam in less than five minutes.
When oil spills reach water; fast, effective response tools are essential. “This was a reportable spill in the state of Kentucky and to the US EPA and both agencies were extremely happy with our efforts and the fact that we stopped the oil from heading downstream as quickly as we did. I can truly say that the Instant UnderFlow Dam minimized impact downstream, allowed all parties involved to have confidence that the spill was contained and allowed EMS to focus on cleaning up the source rather than chase oil downstream. I will continue to use the Instant UnderFlow Dam each and every time we have an impacted waterway,” Acri adds.
Even in easy-to-access streams, Instant Underflow Dams are an asset that helps responders contain spills on water faster. It also helps small teams make better use of their resources. Instead of dedicating 6 or 8 people to creating a dam, only 2 or 3 are needed. And, they’ll be able to be re-allocated to other jobs faster because damming takes minutes, not hours.
Having the ability to dam streams in minutes, not hours minimizes environmental impact and allows responders to mitigate the effects of the spill faster. Stocking Instant Underflow Dams provide responders with a reliable, easy-to-use spill containment tool that saves time and space; so they can focus on recovery and remediation efforts.
Contact us if you have any questions or need help finding the right spill control products. Our Customer Success Team is available by chat or by phone at 814-822-2004.