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A brief guide to Absorbent, Containment and Fence Booms


This week the River Hamble Harbour Authority carried out an oil spill exercise based on a scenario of 30,000 litres of heating oil spilling in to the river. The exercise will involve the deployment of oil booms upstream and downstream of the M27 bridge crossing. As this is a vital part of any oil spill response plan, this blog will provide a brief explanation of booms and their applications.

Booms used for spill containment can be categorised in to two simple categories, containment booms and absorbent booms.


Absorbent Booms

Absorbent booms can be used in conjunction with other absorbent products such as absorbent pads and rolls. They are used for selectively absorbing oil from water to maximise the amount of oil recovered and minimise the damage to the marine environment. Large Marine Booms can absorb up to 300 litres per 3 metre boom and are ideal for use on rivers, marinas and harbours. They can be overlapped and connected using clips and rings ensuring that all spilled oil can be captured.

Absorbent booms can also be deployed on land for the absorption of oil and chemicals. The land boom can be used for the absorption of general and oil spills whereas the chemical land boom is specifically designed for absorbing acids, alkalis and other unidentified hazardous chemicals. Simple to deploy and retrieve, land booms are ideal for use on construction sites and chemical plants.

Containment Booms

Containment booms are an ideal emergency or pre-emptive measure for containing spills of oil in open waters. Inflatable booms provide fast and effective containment of oil and cover a large area when compared to the required storage space. They are available in two different sizes of varying depths and can be secured to the river bank with rope or bank end fittings.

Fence Booms

Fence booms are mainly used as a temporary measure for oil containment on low rivers, brooks and streams. With integral buoyancy chambers the fence boom will stay afloat and like the inflatable boom, it can be easily stored and secured to the bank using either a rope or bank end fittings.

Absorbent and containment booms are an essential part of any oil spill response plan and can ensure you have a product that is easily deployable to tackle any spill efficiently and effectively on land or at sea.


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