Oil spills have the capability to wreak havoc on our oceans. The irreversible effects of such damage can leave a long-lasting effect on nature. There are plenty of issues that marine oil spills induce, and they raise some important questions like can oil spills be washed up on the shore? And how long would it take for the environment impacted by the oil spill to recover? The pertinent one is of course, why are spills of oil so dangerous? Oil spills can easily hit coastlines and beaches if not dealt with quickly, thereby worsening the consequences of the tragedy. The amount of time required by the environment to rebound from an oil spill depends on the scale of damage. It can take 15 years for the consequences of a small spill to fully vanish and possibly a lot longer with a bigger oil spill.
Sometimes oil spills can also be responsible for the collapse and immediate mortality of a large variety of aquatic organisms, as well as water contamination that can last for years to come, limiting reproduction and habitat recovery.
Why are oil spills dangerous for the environment?
Here are some ways oil spills are dangerous for the environment:
- Natural hazardous waste (oil and grease) causes environmental harm to marine species, plants, and animals, including mutagenic and carcinogenic damage to humans.
- Discharges from numerous sources form a coating that lowers dissolved oxygen on the water surface.
- The oil and grease layer decreases the biological activity of the treatment phase in which microbes in suspended matter and water form an oil film.
- Lowered concentrations of dissolved oxygen are found in the water.
How can we clean up an oil leak?
When confronted with such a tragedy, swift intervention is required. For this reason, most oil firms, port managers, marinas, manufacturing companies, and other companies working in ports and coast tend to take precautionary steps. Depending on the location, the form, and the extent of the leak, there are a variety of solutions. However, oil spills do not only occur at sea. They can even happen at your office, construction site, or even home. And guess, what the consequence of so-called “innocent” oil spills is? Well, the results and environmental impact of such incidents are the same, although the scale of the catastrophe can be lower. But there is simply no reason why you should take oil spills lightly. As we mentioned before, it takes thousands of years for the oil spill to get entirely washed up.
In case you face such a problem, make sure you have have spill kits and you opt for any of the following remedies to clean up the accidental oil spill:
- Spill containment, using booms for oil containment
- Mechanical spill recovery, using skimmers
- Using towable bladders
- Final storage of the recovered oil or its removal
- Using oil removal wipes
Benefits of oil removal from water bodies
There are numerous advantages of removing oil from any water body. While a majority of the gains are life-saving, there are multiple industrial benefits as well. Here are some of the crucial advantages of removing oil from water:
- Increasing the ability for water reuse for industrial processes
- Reducing the total consumption of water by extending the life cycle
- Broadening the life and decreasing the maintenance needed for equipment for water and coolant filtration
- Reducing the number of chemicals required for water treatment or wastewater services
- Reduction of wastewater treatment based costs
Need of the hour
A total clean-up of the contaminated areas is of utmost importance, and being proactive about such situations is the best approach. Remember, the more the delay, the greater are the chances that the oil will pollute and degrade the ecosystem to a larger extent.