Spill Kit FAQs

Spill Kit FAQs

What is an oil spill kit?

A spill kit is a variety of packed items used in the control and cleanup of oil spills. The spill kit is pre-packed, making it a convenient option when needed. Spill kits are often kept on hand at high risk oil spill areas, which enable immediate response in the event that a spill occurs.


What is included in an oil spill kit?

Oil spill kits typically contain three categories of equipment: protective equipment, absorbent materials, and disposal tools. Gloves are most commonly found in all size spill kits as protective gear, but larger spill kits may include other items, such as goggles or safety glasses, and Tyvek suits or coveralls. Other general safety equipment including steel-toed boots, helmets, etc. may also be useful in a spill kit if the environment calls for it. Absorbent materials are the tools in the spill kit used to actually contain the oil spill. Smaller spill kits typically contain sorbent pads and clay socks; larger spill kits will have these plus sorbent pillows and socks, as well as particulate sorbents. Finally, spill kits should contain tools for disposing the contaminated materials. This means heavy-duty bags and ties, and may also include a small pan and brush for when particulate sorbents are used.


What are the benefits of using spill kits?

Spill kits are very convenient, prepacked kits, greatly reducing stress of finding all the necessary items in the event of an oil spill. Spill kits are also packed in an appropriate way, with the first items the user may need on the top of the spill kit, and the last on the bottom. For example, when opening a spill kit, protective clothing should be immediately available for the user. Disposal tools such as waste bags should be at the bottom of the spill kits. Keeping the spill kit on hand at in an area in danger of oil spills greatly increases response time and reduces oil spill spread.


How do spill kits vary?

Oil spill kits vary in several ways. Spill kits come in many sizes, depending on how much cleanup is required. Small spill kits are equipped with a five gallon capacity, while larger spill kits may be as large as ninety-five gallons. As the size of the spill kit increases, the number of items contained within it does as well. Small spill kits contain basic supplies, while larger spill kits have more advanced equipment. Individual items within the spill kit may also vary depending on the environment. Additional personal safety equipment may be added to the spill kit if there is need for it, soft-sided containers are ideal for storage in vehicles, and instant stop-leak compounds are included when leaking is a concern.


What are the particulate sorbents used in ACME’s spill kits?

ACME uses MiracleSorb sorbent, an organic, biodegradable product. MiracleSorb is a by-product of the sugarcane milling process, and unlike clay sorbents found in other spill kits, is safe for landfills and composting. Not only does MiracleSorb absorb 8 to 10 times its weight, it also contains high levels of “oil-eating’ microbes to boost performance. MiracleSorb can be used on water, soil or hard surfaces, and is beneficial to any spill kit.


What types of spill kits does ACME offer?

ACME offers several varieties of spill kits. Small spill kits are packed within five gallon buckets, and include basic oil spill cleanup tools. Medium sized spill kits come in 20, 30, and 55 gallon drums, and contain additional cleanup supplies. Large spill kits packed in a 95 gallon drum are useful for excessive spills. ACME also offers a general purpose or HazMat spill kit, an oil only spill kit, and an oil spill kit for trucks packed in a soft-sided container.


What should potential spill kit users know to prepare for an oil spill?

Anyone who may come in contact with or need to use the spill kit should be aware of several things. It should be made very clear where the spill kit is kept. An established procedure should be available in the event that an oil spill occurs, and the instructions for each item within the spill kit should be thoroughly explained. All potential spill kit users should also be aware of how to dispose the spill cleanup materials after the spill kit has been used.


Are there regulations on spill kits?

There are no regulations on what should go into an individual spill kit. Not all oil spills are going to be the same, and therefore the spill kits will vary as well. However, OSHA does require the presence of some sort of spill kit on hand in a spill hazard area, as well as an established spill containment plan.


What size spill kit do I need?

While it is difficult to determine exactly what size spill kit will be needed, there are a few guidelines questions to help you decide. First of all, consider how much liquid you are storing or handling. Smaller spill kits may be sufficient for a few gallons of liquid. It is also important to consider a worst possible scenario, taking into account all liquids that might spill, if there are already drainage systems in place, environmental factors if applicable, etc. If it is not possible or practical to have a large enough spill kit to contain a “worst possible scenario”, the site should at least have enough spill kit materials to slow the spread of a spill until more advanced equipment can be brought in. Finally, keep in mind that bigger is not always better. Several smaller spill kits may be more beneficial than one large one, as these small spill kits may be more easily kept on hand.