How Can Oil Spill Affect the Water Supply?

Oil spill clean up

History and evidence have already shown the harmful effects of an oil spill. Most types of oil tend to float on the water’s surface, so they can spread easily due to wind and current.

The impact of oil spill to marine life depends on many factors, including the time and location. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), some animals can simply leave the area during the time of the oil spill while others die.

Overall, though, an oil spill can affect sea birds and sea otters that need to spend time on the water’s surface. Whales, on the other hand, have to rise above to breathe and, in the process, ingest or get covered by oil.

What many people don’t know is that an oil spill can also affect the water supply, and the problem doesn’t have to involve a tanker or a rig.

The Canadian Dilemma

In 2016, an oil spill occurred in Saskatchewan, Canada. About 66,000 gallons of oil and gas ended up on the river after a leak. Because the people obtained water from the river, the council had to shut the river intake down and rely on groundwater. Despite the backup, the council advised the residents to limit water use.

In some cases, however, a poorly designed, old, or damaged aboveground water tank that keeps oil and gas can cause water pollution and supply problems. The harmful chemicals can seep into the ground or travel to the nearby waterways. They can affect the quality of farm products, which may end up on consumers’ tables.

Anyone who operates or owns an aboveground storage tank based on the standards of API 650 and its predecessor, and which stores gas and petroleum, should keep up not only with the inspection but also the API 653 storage tank repair, which only certified professionals can do.

Don’t even think a small oil spill can do no harm. Take precaution at all times before you put the environment and the people’s lives at risk.