Tag Archives: oil absorbents

Marinas and leisure boat operators under scrutiny.

The Environment Agency and regional water companies have a statutory responsibility to enforce controls on any business activity that produces waste water generically called “trade effluent” and failure to comply with regulations may result in significant fines to your business. Added to which you have the European Water Framework Directive that was signed into law by all European Union countries in the year 2000. The Directive set an initial time frame for implementation of water improvement frameworks, which had to be operational by the end of 2012, with the detailed objectives being achieved by the end of 2015.


Marinas, commercial and leisure boat operators have a particularly hard time when it comes to compliance given the pollution potential they generate in the normal course of business. Potential sources of pollutants commonly found in many marinas include oil, fuel, boat sewage, toxic metals, solvents, antifreeze, and detergents. As figures show water pollution is on an upward curve the Environment Agency is stepping up its inspections to ensure all marina and boatyard businesses address this problem.

The best way to minimise accidental pollution is to put in place an Environmental Management Plan based on a thorough risk assessment of your business operations. Effective environmental protection is easier if you have a structured documented management plan that the workforce can refer to.

Achieving practical outcomes is based on four stages.
Identify the potential risks and environmental impact
Implement safeguards and controls including staff training and customer awareness.
Check and monitor safeguards regularly to ensure compliance with your management plan
Review your plan and adapt to changing working practices or new risks.

Ensuring environmental safety is often common sense. Siting oil and fuel tanks as far away from water courses as possible is an obvious example but you should also ensure tanks have bunds with sufficient capacity to contain any spillage. Choose spill control products appropriate to the risk and site them in close proximity to the risk. Oil only spill absorbents for example are not effective on water based effluents and no control measures will be effective if they are not readily accessible. Ensure customers, particularly boat owners on your moorings are aware of their responsibilities and know the type and location of spill control provisions available on site. You can also encourage customers to carry their own spill control kits which you can supply.

We all have a responsibility to protect the environment and after all the industry rely on having safe clean waterways to attract more boating enthusiasts.


Choosing the right Absorbent solution.

A quick browse through our web site will show hundreds of solutions for tackling spills. The challenge is to ensure the spill control solutions you choose are suitable for the spill risks identified for your specific spill risks.

Chemical Absorbent

General purpose absorbent granules are a popular choice but you can further improve the protection by choosing granules designed for specific types of spills and applications. The New Safety Tread granules are highly effective on chemical spills whereas the XR99 Highway granules present a low skid risk when deployed on road surfaces and comply with European Road Safety Regulations. Similarly the Spill Fix loose granules are designed to combat all types of hydrocarbon spills and ounce for ounce have 50% more absorbent capability than standard clay granules.
The Oil and Chemical only absorbent ranges are not just different colour options of the General Purpose products although their distinctive colours do make them easier to identify in an emergency. For oil storage facilities, water pollution control, boatyards and transport depots Oil only absorbents not only attract and absorb oils (oleophilic) but unlike general purpose absorbents have the added advantage of being water repellent (hydrophobic) so they only absorb the oil making them more efficient and making disposal easier. Our specialised Chemical Absorbents for aggressive acids, alkalis and solvents employ chemically inert materials that won’t break down in use and, like the oil only products, are also hydrophobic.

It should be said that for small spill risks for example around industrial machinery, workshops and process areas, potentially involving a variety of hazardous substances the general purpose range will suffice as they will absorb water, lighter grade hydrocarbons and chemicals. It is when the potential risk to property and employees from spills or the potential for environmental damage escalates that you should seriously consider specialist absorbents in your spill management thinking.

Hopefully being aware of the options will help you determine the best choice for your application.