Product Review: Spill Away Plus
I recently met Mr. John Paparone from Environmental Solution, Incorporated (ESI) at the Buies Creek Fire Department. ESI manufactures and distributes products that clean spills, for example, after motor vehicle crashes. They also sell products that clean vehicles. These products are also environmentally sound in that they reduce hazardous wastes.
Mr. Paparone discussed some of their products; however, there was one product that he was especially happy to demonstrate for me. This product is called Spill Away Plus.
Spill Away Plus is an alternative to oil dry that provides bioremediation in addition to simple containment. You are likely asking what is bioremediation? I learned that bioremediation is the process of taking hydrocarbons and breaking it down chemically with the resulting matter becoming harmless to the environment.
Spill Away Plus achieves bioremediation by containing hydrocarbon oxidizing micro-organisms that are naturally occurring. This is basically achieved by the micro-organisms eating the hydrocarbons and the resulting waste is entirely organic and safe.
This product works on spills such as oil, gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. These are all common items that the fire service is used to dealing with.
Mr. Paparone presented a demonstration for me and the other staff at the firehouse. We took a stroll around the firehouse and found that there was a spot on the floor that appeared to be oil. He took a small cup of Spill Away Plus and sprinkled it moderately over the spill. Using a small brush he quickly rubbed the spill in starting to activate the process. Taking the same brush, he swept up the spill. The spill was entirely gone. After a quick final sweep the floor looked quite good. He further explained that if we put this resulting mixture into water, it would finalize the process by fully activating the micro-organisms causing them to start to break the oil down.
Mr. Paparone provided two 25 pound tubs of Spill Away Plus for us to use. We placed one on Engine 822 at Buies Creek and on Truck 10 at my firehouse, Patetown Fire, in Wayne County.
Buies Creek Fire Department was dispatched to a motor vehicle crash. Upon arrival they had an accident that had a large spill of oil and gas. After ensuring safety and patient care, firefighters went to work to contain the spill. They did this by using Spill Away Plus. They used a decent amount of their tub to contain this spill. They then brushed this off to the side of the road, which would allow for further breakdown once it rains on the mixture. Several days later one of the firefighters returned to the site to find no stain or residue on the roadway from the spill.
We all would agree that protecting our environment more would be beneficial for us. So new products such as Spill Away Plus would be something I am sure we would all be interested in.
In my experience, Spill Away Plus did provide for interesting results. The issue is the cost. A tub like the one used runs approximately $71 per 25 pounds. Some departments cannot afford that expenditure on tubs for wrecks. For those that do, this might be a product to try. Another solution with the cost is that the used product can be sifted out and the remaining unused portion reused.
I would like to thank the members of the Buies Creek and Patetown Fire Departments for allowing me the chance to use this product in several variant situations.
David Hesselmeyer has over 11 years experience in fire and EMS. Hesselmeyer works for the Public Health Regional Surveillance (PHRST) Team 3 out of Cumberland County as a Regional Emergency Management Planner. He can be reached at [email protected].
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