Even among the most environmentally-friendly companies, it’s all too common a question: “Is one leak really that big of a deal?” The answer is a resounding and definitive—YES. This question is especially pervasive in land-based operations, which face far less scrutiny and regulatory mandates than in marine-based operations.
Studies show that drips may be more destructive overtime than even large spills. The fact is that a single hydraulic leak of one drop per second is equal to 420 gallons of oil in a 12-month period. That figure is significant in and of itself, but think about the number of parts in a fleet that leak on any given day, and the math becomes staggering.
It has been estimated that more than 100 million gallons of fluids could be saved every year in North America if external leakage from hydraulic machinery and other lubricated equipment was eliminated. Too small to be reported, these seemingly insignificant land-based spills and leaks are often disposed of in sewer systems or buried in the dirt, ultimately heading toward the water table as runoff or choking off plant life in the affected area. This represents a yearly accumulation roughly twice the size of the Exxon Valdez spill.
Clearly, this is a major problem, and it is incumbent on each of us to take action. Thankfully, safer options are available. In recent years, environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) have evolved to ensure the same or better level of performance than their petroleum-based counterparts, allowing companies to do the right thing for people, planet and profits.
While there is currently no requirement to use EALs in land-based operations, an increasing number of companies are voluntarily making the switch from petroleum-based lubricants and greases to safer, more beneficial options, eliminating the destructive drip.
RSC Bio Solutions is proud to partner with organizations that share our belief that every spill and leak counts, and to help them make the business case for doing the right thing – even when no one is looking.