New Materials Protect Spread of Contamination in Aquatic/Sediment Related Emergency Spill Response

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AquaBlok Bentonite and Organoclay Coated Aggregate provides low permeability and stable "blanket" over contaminated sediment - minimizing liability of larger clean-up.

AquaBlok, Ltd., manufacturers of innovative composite particle materials, announces the introduction of several important new materials to aid in emergency response to spills near water bodies where sediment has been impacted by contaminants.

AquaBlok materials can be quickly applied to
seal-off contamination in sediments minimizing spread or impacts to aquatic life.

The emergency response industry has many tools available for containment of spills on land and even on the surface of the water - most of which are designed to absorb floating Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL) contaminants such as oil or petroleum. However, few, if any, products are available to address the wide range of types of contamination that can impact the sediments as the result of a spill.

AquaBlok has been extensively studied by the U.S. EPA as a means of managing contaminated sediment. A summary evaluation report can be downloaded from the EPA at: Press Release Newswire). It has been successfully applied as a low permeability capping material at numerous locations.

As the material can be easily and speedily applied, it can be a valuable technology to benefit responsible parties in emergency response scenarios where a spill has impacted sediments in a body of water.

The primary benefits and advantages of applying AquaBlok are:

  • Cost Control - By Immediately Containing Contaminants in Sediment Over a Limited Area, the Clean-up Volume Can be Reduced / Minimized
  • Liability Reduction - Minimizes the Potential of Spread/Impact of Contaminants In the Event of an Interim Storm or Flood
  • Reduces Risk of Spread of Contaminants by Re-suspension During Excavation / Clean-up Operations - Material Can Bind Up Upper Layers of Sediment
  • Does Not Limit the Ability to Remove Contaminants Later or Materially Increase the Volume of Sediments to be Removed
  • Relatively Fast and Easy to Install at Emergency Response Site / Numerous Application Methods Possible

The current industry standard is to perform immediate excavation of impacted sediments. This is normally done with conventional construction equipment such as a back hoe, excavator, or clam shell. Occasionally, a vacuum truck is used to attempt to suck up as much of the contaminated material as possible. Unfortunately, contamination can be significantly spread through, moving waters (i.e. in a flood), interim storm events, or even the very act of removing the contamination.

The primary advantage of using a containment material, such as AquaBlok is to minimize these risks and thereby reduce both the cost and future potential liability that can result from a spread of contaminants.

Even when excavation can be performed immediately (i.e. contaminants are not impacted by weather events) and when booms or other protective measures are employed, most of the above excavation methods can have the effect of stirring-up and re-suspending a significant amount of contamination in the water column. This suspended contamination will ultimately settle out over a generally larger area than was originally impacted.

AquaBlok addresses the dual problems of weather-impacted spread and re-suspension by forming a bond between the cover layer, the contamination and the underlying sediment. When all of this material is removed together, then the potential for release and re-suspension of the contaminants if greatly reduced.

AquaBlok supplies both a standard bentonite-based material as well as an organoclay version that is designed to address hydrocarbon/petroleum seeps/spills in sediments. This product, called AquaBlok+ORGANOCLAY, will adsorb and chemically bind oils or a wide range of other hydrocarbon based contaminants.

AquaBlok has also partnered with Adventus Group ( to incorporate their wide range of field proven treatment amendments for in-situ treatment applications in sediments. Please contact either Adventus or AquaBlok for more information on the range of products that can be provided.

About AquaBlok, Ltd.
AquaBlok, Ltd. is a manufacturer of composite materials utilizing its patented coating and amendment approach. The company has a long history in the environmental industry and a range of products utilized in sediment remediation technologies. AquaBlok utilizes its delivery system in a range of products including, pond and industrial impoundment sealing, as an annular sealant for well construction, as seep collars on piping, to construct cut-off walls in porous soil conditions, flood control applications (i.e. levee and dam protection), and to deliver organoclay-based materials. In addition, AquaBlok is a licensee of Halliburton's Bariod Division for the BARACLEAR® algae treatment product.

Please contact AquaBlok for pricing and/or distributor inquires.


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John Collins
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