Why rain and coir go hand in hand…
It’s been wonderful to see the welcome relief the recent rains have brought. While they’re not yet enough to consider drought busting, they’ve been frequent and consistent enough to bring decent downpours. And those downpours have brought us other challenges… controlling the movement of water. Fast flowing water or even slow, soaking water – combined with dry, dusty and thirsty land – is a recipe for erosion and lots of it.
Which is why rain and coir go hand in hand… What is Coir, you wonder? Drive past any road works today and you’ll see Coir Logs. Often deployed by the side of the road, Coir Logs seek to control the flow of water, slowing it down and avoiding unwanted erosion. You’ll notice coir more distinctly as a furry brown fibrous material.
What makes Coir Logs better than other erosion control options, like silt socks?
Firstly, coir isn’t a synthetic material – it’s 100% natural coconut fibre, making it one of the safest, most environmentally friendly and sustainable products there are! It means that there is zero wastage when using coconuts: the milk and rusk are used for consumption; the shell is ground up for use along with the coir fibre. The dense fibre is then packed into a netting (also make from spun coir fibre) to form Coir Logs. And because it’s all natural, it is completely safe to use. Vegetation can grow though it. It can be left in place to slowly biodegrade over the years.
How can Coir Logs be used?
They are used for a number of erosion control options. First, when deployed down sloped water courses the coir logs act to control water turbidity and slow the movement of water. This is the most common use in roadside construction. Coir Logs can also be placed to direct water flow, away from protection areas and towards drainage areas. Coir can also be stacked on top of each each to provide embankment support, even in steep embankment sites. The flexibility of coir means it can be curved or shaped to fit curved environments. Yet, it is strong and versatile enough to hold shape in even difficult environments. Perfect for riverbank or watercourse re-newal too. In fact, Coir Logs, as a 100% natural, sustainable and biodegradable option are Ideal for all construction sites and controlling run off.
About the only thing Coir can’t do is give one a fake beard. Unless you’re a ginger?
Ah Coir…what’s not to love? So… with all of this lovely QLD & NSW rain… have you got your coir yet? We’ve got plenty in stock, ready to support you. Call 1300 736 116 to order yours now, or go straight to the product COIR200 or COIR300.
Research and experience has taught us more and more about the dangers of oil and solvent spills. Even in relatively small amounts, these substances can create considerable problems for local flora and fauna, and over a long enough time frame, ourselves as well.
Little wonder, then, that fines for polluters have increased considerably in recent years. Today, spills and polluted land will net you a grievous fine, along with the cost of remediation. It pays, literally, to ensure that you are protecting the land around you. And one of the finest ways to do this is by using floor bunding.
Bunding is simply a permanent fixture that captures and contains spills. It includes floor bunding, for use on busy shop floors, and bunding specifically created for containers such as drums, or intermediate bulk containers. They create a quick and easy job of containing lost liquids, preventing them from escaping in to the environment.
The biggest advantage of these systems is their permanence, and their catch-all placement. A lot of smaller amounts are spilt at the point of pouring, for instance, from the nozzle of a fuel pump, or a small drip lost when accessing hydraulic fluid. Over time, these smaller losses can add up considerably, creating an environmental issue, a workplace hazard, or both. By preventing their escape, we can make a real difference to our ecological footprint.
Bunding is being found more and more workplaces in Australia, and it is making the act of staying clean, and compliant with the law, considerably easier. Contact your experts at Ecospill to learn more, or cruise our wide range of floor bunding options, today.
Our new Perth Branch is now bigger and better than ever!
As part of our commitment to serving you better, Ecospill is pleased to announce that our Perth Branch has moved into bigger, better premises!
New Ecospill Perth Address:
1/435 Yangebup Rd, Cockburn Central WA 6164.
Phone: 1300 736 116 (unchanged)
Please note the new physcial address and update it in your records.
We are excited by the opportunities our expanded branch will now have – we will be able to offer you more of our product range, increased stock quantities and improved efficiencies all round.
Watch this space for more exciting news on new products! Contact us for your special ‘big move’ deals (available for Perth Customers only).
We great appreciate your business and enjoy partnering with you. We remain committed to helping you meet your environmental needs. Feel free to contact us for any queries on 1300 736 116.
As oil and gas continue to service our growing population centres, spills will continue to occur. In Australia, and in much of the developed world, spills are quickly reported, and guilty parties are assigned grievous fines. However, this is not the reality throughout the world.
In many countries, it is rare to find a coordinated response to oil spill events. Much reporting is often delegated to the firms engaged in oil drilling, but these firms are often incentivised to downplay any spills that do occur, to avoid engaging in, or paying for, cleanup and spill response training for their employee base.
The difficulties are augmented by the monopoly of information that is often enjoyed by the extractors. They also often have very cosy relationships with local governments, so enforcing these fines can be difficult. But an international watchdog has the capacity to exert pressure on these firms, and potentially, to serve as a voice to areas that are underrepresented in local politics.
Coordinated responses and anonymous tips have lately been filtered through a number of non-profit industry associations, such as IPIECA. This global hub serves as a soundboard for best practice methods for spill remediation, open communication, and industry methodology. They also serve as the principal channel of communication between the oil and gas industry, and the United Nations.
Such industry associations have come under fire for being overly close with the industry itself. However, they are doubtlessly industry experts, and it is unreasonable to suggest that the entire sector is guilty of placing revenues over the environment. In particular, in areas where environmental protection is sub-par or underfunded, IPIECA and similar groups can play a major role in aiding remediation efforts for oil spills, through communication and proper spill response training.
Floor bunding creates a barrier to spills within your workplace, preventing them from escaping a given area. It provides reliable containment, but still allows for the free movement of workshop vehicles and heavy wheels, which simply roll straight over its low walls. A standard in thousands of workshops around Australia, floor bunding ensures that areas of higher likelihood for spills are offered a failsafe, permanently deployed.
But this item will not function as designed unless it is installed properly, and ensuring that it is sitting flat, straight, and true is key to ensuring that it will be both impenetrable, and easily worked with. At Ecospill, our Durabund floor bunding is among the finest on the market, so ensure you lay it down properly by following these key points.
First and foremost, the floor must be clean, flat, and free of debris or dust. This doesn’t stop at just your mop – it includes the removal of any grease or old paint that is stuck to the concrete. Otherwise, the all-important adhesive bonding on the bottom of the bunding may be compromised.
Cut to Size
After marking out the route of your bunding, use a fine-tooth electrical saw, and cut it to the prescribed length. Done properly, there are no seams between the cuts, and the entirety of the spill-prone region is surrounded. Should you require additional strength for your bunding, this is when you drill pilot holes for Dynabolts. Be sure to clean up any dust that may result before proceeding.
Apply the Bond
First, clean the bottom of the Durabund with the MEK Durabund cleaner, using a clean cloth or tissue, changing it frequently. Once it is clean, apply a continuous bead of adhesive down either side, ensuring that they line up with the preformed anchor holes, with a third bead of adhesive zig-zagging between the other two. Now, lay the Durabund against the marked straight line, and apply even pressure, for the entire length of the Durabund.
Your spacers will be inserted in to the joints now, to allow for expansion. Remove them, and smear Sikaflex over the joint to ensure the seal, without filling the joint. Now, install any Dynabolts, and you are done.
Ensure that you wait 24 hours, for the bond to be as strong as possible, before subjecting it to stress. Done properly, Durabund and Ecospill provide a hard-wearing, toughened barrier to any spills that may occur in your workshop, allowing you the chance to clean them up before they escape.
Silt socks and silt curtains are a common sight on many Australian worksites, particular during the rainier seasons. Situated properly, they are intended to keep topsoil from running directly off of exposed land and in to the drain. At first look, it is for the protection of the property, and that is certainly true – but the issue of silt in our river systems doubles the stakes.
Runoff and Silt
Almost every river in the world carries a certain amount of silt with it. It gives them their distinctive colour and a piece of their character, and when the ocean slows and reaches the ocean, it gives them their wide, fertile delta. The river’s path through its headwaters, when it is running more quickly, carves out deep valleys, and brings these nutrients with it downstream.
Most organisms and life in a given river have grown accustomed to the visibility and environment. It is when these key attributes are altered that we run the risk of environmental damage.
Case Study: The Murray-Darling System
Australia’s longest river, the Murray-Darling system dominates the watersheds of Victoria, New South Wales, eastern South Australia, and southern Queensland. Heavily exploited, the river is also a classic case of heavy siltification causing damage to species dwelling in its depths.
In this case, siltification is only partly due to construction practices. Invasive carp, brought here from Europe, are bottom feeders, filtering the muck from the river bottom through their mouths and gills for food. Their ability to breed quickly meant that all but the uppermost reaches of the river system are now playing host to these fish, muddying the water year-round.
The impact upon fish species has been profound. The Murray Cod population is perhaps a tenth of what it was historically, as they are primarily sight feeders, and cannot compete in these new, murkier reaches. Australian bass and river blackfish have been similarly affected. Research continues on how best to cope with this threat, but if we can stop this same impact on a smaller scale, we can ideally maintain some habitats in a more pristine state.
At EcoSpill, we provide premium spill kits to clients across Australia, and have done so for many years. But this time and experience has taught us that no matter the quality of the kit itself, it is only as good as the people deploying it.
That is why we have long provided training methods and videos, on the proper methods of deploying our equipment. We want to ensure that every member of your staff is capable of containing a spill, and proper education and experience are the best methods of making this a reality.
So what are the fundamentals?
If the spill kits aren’t located in a high-traffic area, one that is close to the most likely scenes of spillage, the delay in deployment can have dire consequences. This is important, as more watery liquids can quickly run off in to drains or gutters. Speed is essential, so ensure that your kit is placed properly, and this location is known to everyone.
Next, you’ll need to ensure that your staff is well-versed on how to deploy your spill kit. Reading the instructions, and examining the contents of your spill kit, is a good step. Actually having them tackle a live spill, in one of our EcoSpill courses, is a better one.
Our spill kits include instruction on their usage, but it is far better to know these basic instructions prior to needing them. Specific deployment methods, in regards to encircling the spill, absorbing it, and most importantly, protecting yourself, are specific to the substance your kit is intended to tackle, and spill kit training from EcoSpill will help to crystallise your deployment.
How to use your spill kit properly, when called upon, is vital knowledge for all your employees. At EcoSpill, we can help to ensure they are properly trained. Contact us today to find out more.