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Canada Alberta water crisis:
Crude oil spills into Alberta river
By Renato Gandia ,Calgary Sun/First posted: | Updated:
Save the Water™ does not represent or endorse the postings herein or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information furnished by the author.
CALGARY – Residents in central Alberta are concerned about drinking water contamination after crude oil spilled into a tributary of the Red Deer River.
Efforts to contain the spilled crude are underway and officials are monitoring air and water quality following a leak of up to 3,000 barrels — 470,000 litres — from Plains Midstream Canada’s Rangeland pipeline into the Jackson Creek near Sundre.
The creek is one of the tributaries of the Red Deer River, a source of drinking water for a number of municipalities.
Friday night, a Hazardous Materials alert was issued for Mountain View and Red Deer Counties advising residents to avoid swimming, boating, drinking or using the water from Glennifer Lake, and not consuming fish caught or handling animals affected.
The North Dyke Campground on Glennifer Resevoir, and the North Valley and South Valley Day Use areas are closed until further notice.
Bruce Beattie, reeve of Mountain View County, said residents in the Sundre area are concerned about the spill that was announced Thursday night. “I think any time you have any of these incidences it’s a major concern,” said Beattie.
“I don’t know if you can attach blame, but certainly the operator of the pipeline is the one who has to take responsibility for it and any cleanup for sure.”
Speaking Friday evening from Dickson Dam, Premier Alison Redford said Alberta has a strong regulatory process, adding the response is being well handled.
“It is unfortunate when these events happen, we are fortunate in this province they don’t happen very often and we can have some confidence when they do happen we have plans in place to deal with them,” she said.
Earlier Friday, Redford said the incident will be investigated and the ministers of energy and environment will review the findings.
Booms have been placed in the area of the spill and the water is being contained downstream at Glennifer Lake dam near Red Deer.
Bob Curran, a spokesman with the Energy Resources and Conservation Board, said there’s no indication as to how long monitoring teams will be deployed, but work will continue until officials conclude the environment and residents are safe.
Jessica Potter, a spokeswoman for Environment Alberta, said residents downstream from Sundre have been told not to take water from the river for any use until contamination has been ruled out.
The City of Red Deer is asking residents to check the city’s website and follow them on Twitter or on Facebook for updates.
Call Plains Midstream’s Community Response phone line for information 1-866-670-8073. For any health concerns call AHS Health Link at 1-866-408-5465.
Files by Katie Schneider/article courtesy of Toronto Sun/Calgary Sun
Oil spill: Cleanup and recovery
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.
Cleanup and recovery from an oil spill is difficult and depends upon many factors, including the type of oil spilled, the temperature of the water (affecting evaporation and biodegradation), and the types of shorelines and beaches involved.
Methods for cleaning up include:
- Bioremediation: use of microorganisms or biological agents to break down or remove oil.
- Bioremediation Accelerator: Oleophilic, hydrophobic chemical, containing no bacteria, which chemically and physically bonds to both soluble and insoluble hydrocarbons. The bioremediation accelerator acts as a herding agent in water and on the surface, floating molecules to the surface of the water, including solubles such as phenols and BTEX, forming gel-like agglomerations. Undetectable levels of hydrocarbons can be obtained in produced water and manageable water columns. By overspraying sheen with bioremediation accelerator, sheen is eliminated within minutes. Whether applied on land or on water, the nutrient-rich emulsion creates a bloom of local, indigenous, pre-existing, hydrocarbon-consuming bacteria. Those specific bacteria break down the hydrocarbons into water and carbon dioxide, with EPA tests showing 98% of alkanes biodegraded in 28 days; and aromatics being biodegraded 200 times faster than in nature they also sometimes use the hydrofireboom to clean the oil up by taking it away from most of the oil and burning it.
- Controlled burning can effectively reduce the amount of oil in water, if done properly. But it can only be done in low wind, and can cause air pollution.
- Dispersants act as detergents, clustering around oil globules and allowing them to be carried away in the water. This improves the surface aesthetically, and mobilizes the oil. Smaller oil droplets, scattered by currents, may cause less harm and may degrade more easily. But the dispersed oil droplets infiltrate into deeper water and can lethally contaminate coral. Recent research indicates that some dispersants are toxic to corals.
- Watch and wait: in some cases, natural attenuation of oil may be most appropriate, due to the invasive nature of facilitated methods of remediation, particularly in ecologically sensitive areas such as wetlands.
- Dredging: for oils dispersed with detergents and other oils denser than water.
- Skimming: Requires calm waters
- Solidifying: Solidifiers are composed of dry hydrophobic polymers that both adsorb and absorb. They clean up oil spills by changing the physical state of spilled oil from liquid to a semi-solid or a rubber-like material that floats on water. Solidifiers are insoluble in water, therefore the removal of the solidified oil is easy and the oil will not leach out. Solidifiers have been proven to be relatively non-toxic to aquatic and wild life and have been proven to suppress harmful vapors commonly associated with hydrocarbons such as Benzene, Xylene, Methyl Ethyl, Acetone and Naphtha. The reaction time for solidification of oil is controlled by the surf area or size of the polymer as well as the viscosity of the oil. Some solidifier product manufactures claim the solidified oil can be disposed of in landfills, recycled as an additive in asphalt or rubber products, or burned as a low ash fuel. A solidifier called C.I.Agent (manufactured by C.I.Agent Solutions of Louisville, Kentucky) is being used by BP in granular form as well as in Marine and Sheen Booms on Dauphin Island, AL and Fort Morgan, MS to aid in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup.
- Vacuum and centrifuge: oil can be sucked up along with the water, and then a centrifuge can be used to separate the oil from the water – allowing a tanker to be filled with near pure oil. Usually, the water is returned to the sea, making the process more efficient, but allowing small amounts of oil to go back as well. This issue has hampered the use of centrifuges due to a United States regulation limiting the amount of oil in water returned to the sea.
- Booms: large floating barriers that round up oil and lift the oil off the water
- Skimmers: skim the oil
- Sorbents: large absorbents that absorb oil
- Chemical and biological agents: helps to break down the oil
- Vacuums: remove oil from beaches and water surface
- Shovels and other road equipments: typically used to clean up oil on beaches
Equipment used includes:
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