Fix the pumps

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

11 spills and counting

Yet more pump testing, and yet more oil spilled.

The last reported spill was January 25, 2007. This time, it was on March 24th, when the Corps was testing their supposedly "fixed" pumps at 17th Street that are all going to be ready on June 1.

March 24, 2007
Quantity released: 50 gallons
Description of incident: The caller stated that while testing a pump, a hydraulic line failed and caused a release of hydraulic oil into the canal. The release is secured and booms have been placed.
Sheen size length: 40 feet.
Sheen size width: 30 feet.

The is the seventh reported spill at the 17th Street site, and the eleventh spill overall at all three floodgate sites. Ten have been reported to the National Response Center, while an eleventh (on September 15, 2006 at the London Avenue site) remains unreported except in the media.

With this spill, the total amount of hydraulic oil spilled into all three outfall canals is now approximately 800 gallons (it's 775 gallons without the September 15th spill). That's almost 20 barrels.

What's bothersome about this one is that the Corps was testing supposedly refitted and repaired pumps on March 24th. Why are their hydraulic lines still leaking? Is it the pipes or the hoses that are failing (unclear from the spill report)? We know there's certainly the possibility of the pipes failing. Also note that report says the leak happened during operational testing, not while the pump was being installed or removed or other somesuch circumstance.


  • Of course when they do their complete testing of the pumps will they count the spills as a "fixable failure" and pass or will that count as a failure and force them to retool and then test again.

    Another issue is how long does patching and fixing take. 3 hours, 3 days or three 3 weeks? The time frame could make a difference between life and death.

    By Blogger spocko, at April 28, 2007 2:52 PM  

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