Friday, 28 January 2011

Oil Booms - The Highly Effective Solution for Containing And Cleaning Up Oil Spills on Water

You've seen a lot of them on TV lately -- oil booms played a crucial part in managing and cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Read on to find out more about how they work and do their job.
Those long white or yellow tube-like contraptions floating on the ocean's surface? They were oil booms at work. They are arranged around the oil spill and help keep it in place so that it can be cleaned up more easily.
Here's the thing though... there are actually two distinct kinds -- absorbent and non-absorbent.
The non-absorbent kind is primarily responsible for containing the oil. These kinds of booms float on the water's surface and help ensure that the oil, which also floats on the surface, won't be able to escape into the environment.
They're designed to handle various types of bodies of water. Some types are made for placid lakes and protected areas, such as harbors and marinas. These are fairly light in weight and can be moved and transported easily.
Other non-absorbent booms are designed to do their job even in fairly rough water along coast lines and even in the middle of the ocean.
What makes oil containment booms so effective is their polyethylene foam flotation blocks and their vinyl-coated skirting. Both of these are highly effective barriers that block oil and debris. Many high quality versions come with a galvanized steel chain to add weight to the bottom of the oil boom to stop pollutants from escaping.
No matter which type you're interested in, they all come with ways to hook together a number of individual booms so they can contain an oil slick of a range of different sizes. The oil booms themselves come in various sizes as well, but generally are 50 or 100 feet in length.
Of course, there are absorbent booms as well. These are designed to absorb oil and float on the surface when they're full. Because of their size, they have a good amount of capacity and can absorb a whole lot of oil. Once they have reached their capacity, they can be pulled out and replaced with fresh booms.
So if you need to contain and clean up an oil spill on water, you should invest in both kinds of oil booms, the non-absorbent booms in order to contain the oil, and the absorbent booms to clean it up.
Want to know more about oil booms? Get valuable tips and the latest news about absorbents and other environmental safety products on Travis Zdrazil's Safety Maintenance News blog and get his free newsletter too. Travis is an expert on environmental safety products and has supplied businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements for more than 10 years.
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