This incident started with a filter break at a pipeline pumping station during the overnight. When the staff arrived in the morning they found that the filter had cracked and that crude oil was spraying out into the air. The real problem was that it was a very windy night and the oil spray had carried outside the boundary of the station and across a pond of water.
This pond was filled with growing weeds that extended above the water level. The oil spray had covered the weeds and left an oil sheen on the water. Alberta Environment and Environment Canada instructed the company to address the incident on site and no removal was allowed.
We were contacted by the pipeline company because they were informed about the non leaching characteristics of Sphag Sorb and that the treatment with Sphag Sorb could be left in the water. With the assistance of a small boat, Sphag Sorb bags were taken onto the pond and distributed all over the contaminated area. Because there was not any mechanical equipment to broadcast the Sphag Sorb, the men in the boat just tore open the bags and threw the product into the air. With the help of doing this upwind, the wind carried the product over the water and contaminated weeds. They continued to do this until they could see that all of the oil spots on the weeds and the sheen in the water were all covered with Sphag Sorb. This is very effective because any oil spot or sheen that the Sphag Sorb particles touch is immediately absorbed.
Because this incident happened here in Canada, we have winter. Once the water in the pond was frozen enough to walk on, all of the weeds were cut off at the ice level and removed. This did not affect the life of the weeds, because as normal, once the ice melted in the spring, the weeds would just continue growing. The entire contaminated portion of the weeds was now gone and new growth would only exist.
As for the oil on the water, Sphag Sorb had absorbed (totally encapsulated) the oil. The non leaching characteristic of Sphag Sorb enabled the company to leave the product on the water because the natural microbes would eventually break down the hydrocarbon.