NewsCan Suction Trucks Be Used For Oil Spills? 

10 September 2020by support

Suction trucks are commonly used for pumping excess liquid and water waste removal for both residential and commercial spaces. Vacuum trucks are a fairly familiar sight and usually ignored until you need them for an emergency.

We often relate suction trucks to sewage removal but they do more than remove wastewater. In fact, a lot of industries use them for various purposes. Suction trucks are an integral part of a lot of industrial operations, with oil spills being an example.

Oil spills don’t happen on a regular basis but when they do, they can be catastrophic. In fact, suction trucks are vital pieces of equipment for the petroleum industry. They are used for cleaning storage tanks and are always on standby in cases of oil spills. They are also a vital part of drilling for oil and natural gas. 

How Do They Work?

A suction truck’s mechanism and technology is very effective in sucking up any kind of oil but requires a skimmer attached to the suction hose in order to recover oil on water. Larger suction trucks or trailers have a powerful sucking action that can recover up to 4,000 litres of oil. 

What Is A Skimmer?

A skimmer is a device that is used to collect and separate oil from water in oil spills. Most suction trucks and trailers install skimmers to the suction hoses during an oil spill recovery mission.

Skimmers are important because if the oil is not separated from the water, the tank storage will be mostly full of water and the recovery and disposal time will take ten times longer, maybe even more. Skimmers make the oil spill recovery work more efficient and effective.

Suction Trucks Used Oil Spills

Why Are Suction Trucks Vital For Oil Spill Recovery?

Suction trucks are important in oil spill recovery for the following reasons:

  • They are designed to suck up any liquid including oil. 
  • Suction trucks have big storage tanks that can hold up to 4,000 litres, some even more. This allows the truck to suck up more oil in one go and helps ensure that the recovered oil is disposed of properly.
  • Because they are designed for removing water waste materials including toxic waste, and ensure that the people operating the truck and everyone around is safe including the surrounds.
  • Suction trucks are equipped with the necessary fittings that are needed for a safe and speedy oil spill recovery. There is no need to bring in more equipment and tools. It is basically a one-stop-shop
  • Suction trucks can suck up oil on water fast. 

The most vital part of oil spill recovery missions is TIME. When it comes to oil spills in open water and other natural habitats like the ocean, lake, rivers, and beaches it is important to remove the oil as fast as possible. Oil spills can kill thousands of marine animals in days if not hours. Immediate and urgent response is needed. 

Proper Disposal

Storage and disposal of oil from oil spills is just as important as the fast recovery process. Adequate waste management should be applied in order for the oil spill cleanup process to be complete. Here are some of the ways oil waste is disposed of:

  • The oil is sent to oil refineries to be cleaned so it can be reused and recycled. Most oils in an oil spill, especially those from oil tankers and petroleum storage tanks is clean, unused oil. When processed and cleaned of impurities, it can be used or sold.
  • Unsavable oil from the recovery is sent directly to waste facilities for incineration, composting or landfill whichever is appropriate and approved legally.

Suction Trucks Used Oil Spills

Proper disposal plays a major role in the whole operation because the main purpose of oil recovery is to save the environment and wildlife that is affected. It will defeat the whole purpose of the operation if there are no proper disposal protocols in place.

The process involved in oil spill recover is very technical and requires training, skills, experience, and proper equipment. 

At Pressure Works, we have a wide range of suction trucks ready and available for any water waste removal requirements including oil spills. 


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