How to Prevent Oil Spills

Oil spills cause huge damage to the aquatic life and by some or the other means they enter the food chain and can cause various health hazards to the entire biosphere. The oil that leaks in the gigantic water bodies spreads everywhere and spoils the water leaving black residue behind. This article on how to prevent oil spills gives you some of the useful tips to prevent them.

Oil spill can occur due to various reasons, but the most common reason for oil spills is from the transportation of oil on ships. Huge amount of oil is transported in the ships through oceans, if there is a leak in the tanks then this could spill the oil into the oceans. Some of the other reasons for oil spills are through the leaks in the underground pipelines, from the refineries and during the extraction process of the oil from underground, etc.

How to prevent oil spills:

  • During the process of oil processing, some companies don’t want to dispose the oil properly, because it can increase their cost. This should not be done; the companies should follow proper disposal methods or put it to some other use.
  • Sometimes oil spills occur from the refineries accidentally, due to the leakage in the pipes or due to some errors by the workers. Such oil spills should be treated immediately as soon as the problem is noticed before it causes any great damage to the living organisms.
  • These oil refineries should be kept under continuous proper maintenance so that are no leaks and there is no reason that can cause the oil to get spilled into the water.
  • Workers should be trained well to the handle the equipment that are present in the refineries.
  • Most of the oil refineries are built on the oceans, so proper standards and all the necessary precautions should be taken by the companies.
  • Release of other wastes from the companies that are the derivatives of oil should be avoided.
  • During the extraction of oil from the ocean huge amount of oil gets spilled. During the extraction process companies should use proper drilling techniques.
  • Use double-hulled ships for the transportation of oil. Double-hulling is a technique in which the bottom and the sides of the ship are built with two complete layers of watertight hull surfaces.
  • If there are any leaks, then they should be treated immediately using cleanup methods such as bioremediation, controlled burning, using dispersants, dredging, skimming and using solidifiers, using centrifugation methods, etc.
  • Underground pipelines should be examined regularly, so that they have no leaks. These underground pipes should be changed periodically. If they are not changed regularly they may deteriorate and develop leaks.
  • In certain unavoidable circumstances in which oil spills occur accidentally due to some natural disasters should be treated immediately. If the oil spill occurred due to such disasters reaches the beaches then you should apply some methods to treat them immediately or else it will remain on the beaches for long period.
  • Some of the methods that you can use to treat such oil spills are manual pickup, tarmat breakup, tilling or raking and spot washing.
  • In the method of manual pickup, oil from the seashores is picked up using the hand tools. However, this method does not ensure the 100% purification of the water. This simply gives a neat and tidy appearance to the beaches.
  • The method of tarmat removal is used to break the tarmats into small portions using hand tools such that they are easy to remove from the water. These tarmats do not degrade for years, so they need to be broken into small portions and then removed.
  • In the method of tilling and raking, the oil from the surface of the shore and the oil that is mixed with the soil are exposed using hand held tools and removed.
  • Spot washing method uses high pressure washing tools to remove the small oil spills present in the water.

Oil can spread within few minutes but cleaning it up takes much time, therefore preventing the oil spill is always a better option to opt for. If you really want to save the life on earth and reduce the oil spills then follow the preventive measures that are suggested above.


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