by Joseph Nwokolo
$ 2.00 per share
Pollution of the environment is one of the major effects of human technological advancement. It results when a change in the environment harmfully affects the quality of human life including effects on animals, micro organisms and plants. Therefore, defined soil pollution as the appearance in soils of persistent toxic compounds, chemicals, salts, radioactive materials, or disease causing agents, which have adverse effects on plant growth and animal health. The contamination of the environment (mainly terrestrial and aquatic) by crude oil is referred to as crude oil pollution and it is estimated that 80% of crude oil pollution is as a result of spillage.
The use of oil booms is a very simple and popular method of controlling oil spills. Equipment called containment booms acts like a fence to prevent the oil from further spreading or floating away. Booms float on the water surface and have three parts –
• A ‘freeboard’ is the part that rises above the water surface, containing the oil and preventing it from splashing over the top
• A ‘skirt’ is placed below the surface and keeps the oil from being squeezed under the booms and escaping
• A kind of cable or chain that connects the parts to strengthen and stabilize the boom.
Connected sections of the boom are placed around the area of the oil spill until it is totally surrounded and contained.
Once the oil has been confined by using oil booms, skimmers or oil scoops can be deployed onto boats to remove the contaminants from the water surface. Skimmers are machines specially designed to suck up the oil from the water surface like a vacuum cleaner. They are used to physically separate the oil from the water so that it can be collected and processed for re-use.
Sorbents are materials that soak up liquids by either absorption (pulling in through pores) or adsorption (forming a layer on the surface). Both these properties make the process of clean-up much easier. Materials commonly used as oil sorbents are hay, peat moss, straw or vermiculite.
As the name suggests, the method requires hand-held tools and manual labour to clean up the contaminants. It involves the use of manual means like hands, rakes, shovels etc. to clean the surface oil and oily debris and place them in special containers to be removed from the shoreline.
Sometimes, mechanized equipment may be employed for providing any additional help and reach out to any inaccessible areas.
n partnership with our West-African counterpart INKAS Environmental Protection Ltd., INKASTRANS Canada Inc. is able to offer a comprehensive suite of services and solutions when it comes to oil spill clean-up, containment, dispersing and disposal to the West-African region. Our unique approach coupled with the relevant experience and skills possessed by our qualified team ensures the overall integrity of our work as well as the ongoing satisfaction of our customers both domestic and abroad.