Oil Spill Booms — The Tool of Choice for Cleaning Up Oil Spills on Water

Oil spills can cause big problems for the environment — as we’re just being reminded of by the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that turned out even bigger than the Valdez oil spill.  Fortunately, most oil spills aren’t that huge, and there are highly effective tools for containing and cleaning them up quickly, which helps minimize damage.

And key among those tools are oil spill booms.  They’re ideal for absorbing large amounts of oil, when sprinkling on some absorbent simply won’t cut it, and even pads and pillows are woefully inadequate.

The thing that makes oil spill booms work so well is also that they only absorb oil and repel water.  So if you’re trying to clean up an oil spill on a body of water, they will skim off the oil and float.

They also help contain the oil spill if you place them strategically all around the spill. And they will do so even when they’re filled to the brim with oil.

And yes, if you have a big spill on land, you can still use them. They’ll work just as well on land.

Basically, they’re giant sausage-shaped contraptions with a highly absorbent polypropylene filler held together by a tough outer mesh skin. In order to allow stringing the booms together, a nylon rope runs all the way though each boom, and they also have carbon steel connectors. That adds stability and also makes them easy to retrieve after they’ve done their job.

Here’s something you might want to keep in mind…  Even though oil spill booms.can handle oil, fuel, diesel, and any other hydrocarbon-based liquid, they won’t work for aggressive fluids including acids, and neither will they work for water based chemicals.

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