Unique oil spill protection for major dam

Blackwoods cleans up with new absorbent polymer

A major infrastructure project in the ACT is one of the first in Australia to adopt a unique safety and protection product that’s designed to clean up localised oil spillages as well as provide an early warning system.

Supplied by Blackwoods Canberra, the Imbiber Bead system from Enware SafeEquip has been purchased by the Bulk Water Alliance for spill protection on dam and pumping projects, including the Cotter Dam upgrade.

The Imbiber Bead system is intended for broad application throughout industries including automotive, building, construction, electrical, engineering, food and beverage, farming, government utility, hospitals, infrastructure, manufacturing, metal processing, materials handling, military, mining and petroleum, process engineering, primary product processing, water and waste water and safety media.

“The Imbiber absorbent polymer soaks up any hydrocarbons and also provides a color indicator of the presence of these substances, turning pink/red when it comes in to contact with fuel and related chemicals,” says Matthew Shanley, Key Account Manager for Blackwoods.

“In a typical application, Imbiber pads can be placed on booms that are used for protection against potential hydrocarbon spills on rivers or lakes during engineering projects.”

The portable Imbiber pads have been added to their spill kit by the Bulk Water Alliance, to ensure good environmental management on a major dam development project being delivered by the Alliance for ACTEW Corporation, as part of a suite of water security projects for the ACT region.

Bulk Water Alliance is delivering in excess of $300 million worth of capital works for the ACTEW Corporation, due to be finished next year.

The work includes an enlargement of the Cotter Dam, transferring water from the Murrumbidgee River to the Googong Reservoir and upgrading the Googong Dam spillway.

Contractor partners to the Bulk Water Alliance are John Holland, Abigroup and GHD.
The Alliance, through Blackwoods Canberra, has also purchased Enware SpillPal spill containment units.

These are easily set up bunding units that are ideal for tasks such as portable pumping and the casual refueling of trucks and tankers.

Enware’s Imbiber Bead super absorbent polymer system – which will absorb a spill without leaching – is ideal for use in waterways as a protective barrier to prevent leakage from land into water or from water onto land.

The system, which is effective on hydrocarbons and a wide range of organic chemicals, incorporates a color indicator that facilitates easy 24/7 monitoring when it is used as a protection shield in waterways and other areas.

The color indicator means users can easily monitor and inspect the Imbiber products in situ in potentially hazardous areas, says Enware SafeEquip Product Manager Mark West.

Two Imbiber Beads standard packs (18cm x 18cm) have been shown in tests to fully absorb a litre of diesel fuel in water over 15min.

“Imbiber Beads not only capture and contain leaks but equally importantly can drastically reduce explosive vapours, says West.

“They are the only absorbent product able to capture spills and not release waste, immobilising the liquid once it is absorbed.”

Visual indicators within the beads change color from white to pink to red as hydrocarbons and organic chemicals are absorbed and the beads become fully saturated.

Once an organic liquid has been absorbed the beads swell, with packs growing to four or five times the original thickness.

Imbiber Beads are available in different packs, pillows or powder blends to suit varying applications and can also be incorporated into the new trolley-mounted Enware SafeEquip Safety Stations.

Enware Australia Pty Ltd
Ph: 02 9525 9511