Different Methods of Oil Spill Cleanup at Sea

Oil spill

Protecting the oceans from harm is crucial to maintain a healthy habitat for marine life. Oil spills are one of the most common contaminants in the ocean, which means proper cleanup of spills is critical. Here are some methods used to clean up oil fast and prevent extensive damage from occurring.

Skimmers

Skimmers are used to remove oil from the surface of the water. They vacuum up the layer of oil on top of the water before it can drift to the coastline. Environmental engineering services California are prepared to deal with oil spills to prevent excess contamination in the ocean.

Oil Booms

Booms act like fences on the water and help contain the spill so cleanup is easier. This cleanup method is most effective when the oil is contained in one area and the sea is calm.

Burning

Booms are used to create a thick layer of oil that can sustain a burn to remove the oil from the surface of the water. This is useful for smaller oil spills that are at least 3-millimeters thick and still fresh. Toxic fumes can be released during the burning which can impact the environment and marine life.

Dispersants

If the oil spill can’t be contained, chemicals are dropped on the oil to accelerate the disintegration of the liquid. The oil bonds to the water to increase the surface area of the microbes. If debris or sand is bonded, tarballs are created, which can end up floating to the shoreline.

Sorbents

For smaller spills or to finish the clean-up of a large spill, sorbents may be used. Sorbents soak up liquids to make them easier to collect. If they get too heavy, they may sink to the bottom.

Effective cleanup of oil spills is essential to protect the oceans and the world’s shorelines.