A routine inspection of a Stormceptor on the grounds of a Southern Ontario municipally owned
hockey arena revealed an astonishing discovery. More than 13 gallons (50
liters) of “mystery oil” was found in the system and no one knew where the oil had
come from. Clearly, there had been an illegal discharge or accidental spill, but no one
was taking responsibility.
Luckily for the city, the Stormceptor had captured and contained the oil as designed,
preventing an environmental incident. Investigation of the area indicated that none
of the oil had escaped into the local environment. Without the Stormceptor as a key
component of the stormwater drainage network, the oil would have run directly into the
adjacent creek, a tributary to a major watershed. Oil spills kill fish, waterfowl and plant
life and can threaten the integrity of a region’s water.
Hydrocarbon spills and leaks have an enormous impact on the environment. Even
small releases can contribute to “creeping dead zones” that destroy local ecosystems.
In this case, 13 million gallons of water could have been affected and the region’s
government imposes environmental penalties of up to $100,000 per day for unlawful
spills and emissions.
Initially, the city had been reluctant to adopt the use of Stormceptor units because of a tightening fiscal budget. But in the end,
the city decided that Stormceptor units and other pollution prevention devices were an important investment in the future
health of the community.
According to Regional Stormwater Specialist Brian Lee, the city is “very relieved” that they invested in spill prevention. “If the
public’s trust is broken,” notes Lee, “it takes a very long time to earn it back.”
The Stormceptor EOS (extended oil storage) is a practical “hot spot” system that easily fits within the conveyance infrastructure
to capture and store spills. Sites with high spill potential such as gas stations, public works
yards, loading docks, ports and other industrial sites use EOS systems to protect against
spills and avoid liability. Standard units are available to contain from 175 gal. (662 liters)
to 7,800 gal. (30,000 liters) and can be customized for diverse site conditions, with flexible
configuration and 24/7 spill protection monitoring from an optional Smart Pro Oil Alarm.