EGD Implements Early Warning System
Applied Microsystems Ltd. (AML) of Sidney, BC announced that the Esquimalt Graving Dock (EGD) – the largest non-military ship repair facility on the Pacific Coast of North America - has invested in AML’s Spill SentryTM technology. Spill SentryTM is an early warning system that detects water-borne spills of oil and other hydrocarbons.
Daryl Lawes, Environmental Coordinator at EGD, notes: “Improvements in oil spill detection and response were identified as an area of critical interest in the year 2000, as we prepared for environmental certification under ISO’s 14001 program.” At the time, EGD used visual inspection procedures to detect spills. Visual inspection required all staff to report any slicks or spills that were seen. “That proves difficult at night or in rough weather, when spills are tough to see,” adds Lawes.
EGD realized it needed a technology alternative to visual inspection capable of detecting spills earlier and more reliably. Key functionality – including 24-hour real-time monitoring, reliability in rough weather conditions, and automated notification capabilities – was identified. Frequency of maintenance was also deemed an important consideration.
“We’re delighted with the results of Spill SentryTM,” states Lawes. “The system automatically places telephone calls to key decision-makers when spills, slicks or sheens are detected. We can then clean up the spill before it leaves the dry-dock’s contained environment and enters open-water. In that regard, early warning means better environmental stewardship as well as a reduction in clean-up costs. The win-win is terrific.”