A Hidden Danger of Shotcrete Equipment

Photo of hydraulic leak on jobsite

How to Quickly Respond to Hydraulic and Fuel Leaks

Shotcrete is an adaptable and durable construction material. Unfortunately, a problem we encounter too often is oil and fuel-related leaks from trucks or equipment. This can lead to a nasty spill on your driveway or on the road where the truck is parked. If not handled properly and efficiently, this type of hydraulic leak can lead to major headaches for homeowners and HOAs.

What is Shotcrete?

Shotcrete, also known as sprayed concrete, is a mixture of cement, aggregate and water, which can be sprayed onto surfaces at high velocity, creating a dense and compact layer of concrete. There are two main types of shotcrete: wet-mix and dry-mix. Wet-mix shotcrete involves premixed ingredients pumped through a nozzle, while dry-mix shotcrete involves dry ingredients being hydrated by the nozzle.

Common Uses in Construction

Shotcrete’s versatility and strength make it a popular choice in various construction applications. Common uses include:

  1. Tunneling: Shotcrete is used in tunnel construction for lining and reinforcing tunnel walls. Its ability to adhere to irregular surfaces and its rapid setting time make it ideal for stabilizing excavations and providing immediate structural support.
  2. Swimming Pools: The construction of swimming pools often involves shotcrete to create the pool shell. Shotcrete allows for the creation of complex shapes and smooth finishes, ensuring a strong and watertight structure.
  3. Retaining Walls: Shotcrete is used to construct retaining walls, which are essential for supporting soil and preventing erosion. Its ability to be applied vertically makes it an effective solution for stabilizing slopes and embankments.
  4. Structural Repairs: Shotcrete is frequently employed in the repair of damaged concrete structures. It can be used to restore the integrity of bridges, buildings, dams, and other infrastructure by applying a new layer of concrete over the existing surface.
  5. Slope Stabilization: In geotechnical engineering, shotcrete is applied to slopes and cliffs to prevent rockfalls and landslides. Its quick application and strong adhesion help in securing unstable rock and soil formations.

Why Do I Need to Look Out for Oil Spills?

In all of the above situations, the shotcrete is applied using a high-pressure hose. Often, the volumetric mixer or other machinery that supplies the shotcrete is carried on the back of a large truck. This is where potential issues come into play. Think about it this way – a shotcrete truck is like if you stuck a lawn mower on top of a tractor. It’s a machine on a machine. There are an exponential amount of opportunities for leaks to occur thanks to the abundance of fuel tanks, hoses, and hydraulic lines. It is important to monitor the machinery while it is running for any potential fuel spills or hydraulic leaks. 

In some instances, such as sloped driveways or roads, the contaminate might travel faster than you are able to contain it. That is another reason why it’s important to have an emergency plan in place. But don’t worry – that’s where your friends at OPG+ can help.

How to Respond in a Shotcrete Emergency

If you suspect there has been a spill of the fuel that powers the machine, don’t panic. First, turn off the machine. Second, make sure the spill does not spread any further by using sandbags or containment booms. Remember: safety is paramount. Do not put yourself at further risk by entering into the contaminated area without the proper safety equipment. If you are unable to fully contain or clean the spill or accident site, contact a hazardous spill remediation company like OPG+.

Even better, don’t wait until there is an emergency. If you know you will be working with shotcrete at your home or worksite, contact OPG+ in advance so we can be standing by in case there is any kind of oil or fuel leak on your property.

OPG+ is Here for You

For more information on how OPG+ can assist with your oil or fuel spill cleanup needs in Florida and Georgia, contact us at (844) 444-8899.

In case of emergency, you can always schedule a 24/7 Quick Response Cleanup Service. Acting quickly, yet calmly in a crisis can make all the difference!