During a recent incident in the UK, it was important that the ecological disturbance in respect to natural vegetation and wildlife should be disturbed as little as possible. For this reason, no equipment of any description was allowed to be used.
More than 20, 000 litres of oil was estimated to have made landfall on this foreshore.
We decided that it would be sufficient to unroll rolls of RP18 oil/chemical adsorbent material. This was done to cover the high water and low water areas. Due to its lateral strength because of its make-up, it was possible to unroll this material in long lines and simply place rocks at intervals on top of it.
During subsequent rise and fall of the tide, the oiled seaweed and other vegetation had the oil released from it through the action of the seawater, and then when the tide receded the oily material at some point was deposited on the adsorbent material. The retention characteristics are phenomenal and as a result after a period of one to two days, the oiled fabric was removed and put into plastic bags and new rolls of adsorbent replaced the soiled material. Towards the end of the clean-up the fabric only needed to be removed after a period of four days.
After only 2 weeks the local water authority, (for South Wales) declared the foreshore a clean beach. It is likely that in other ecological sensitive areas such as salt marshlands etc, that this type of removal of oil pollution would be most satisfactory. It would reduce the amount of disturbance to the vegetation in the area.
A method for Cleaning foreshores case study