How to Clean Oil Spills Near Golf Courses

How To Clean Oil Spills Near Golf Courses

Hydraulic Oil and Its Effect on Grass

There are over 15,000 golf courses throughout the U.S. that cover millions of acres of land. This means golf courses have the potential to cause significant environmental damage, especially in the case of an oil spill. Most golf courses, especially those with turfgrass, are maintained using a hydraulic system. However, if hydraulic oil from the mowing machinery spills onto the putting green, it can result in damaged or dead grass that can take months to recover from.

Oil Damage to Golf Courses

Many people often wonder what the best method of cleaning up an oil spill is, with ideas floating around that dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent could clean the grass before it’s damaged beyond repair. These home remedies have debatable efficacy, but some methods have been proven to do more harm than good, including cleaning with water, detergent, and vegetable-based oils. 

Cleaning with water seems like it would be a stress-free solution, but because oil is less dense than water, the oil will float on the water and may actually increase the damaged area. Detergent is rumored to break up the oil and make it easier to wash out of the grass, however, the movement of the oil combined with heavy rinsing sends the oil deeper into the soil. Vegetable oil is another common suggestion for breaking down hydraulic oil in grass, but in reality vegetable oil is just as toxic to grass as hydraulic oil. Without a clear cleaning solution, most golf courses are left to replace the oil-damaged grass before it can spread to a larger area.

Preventing an Oil Spill

Oil spills are considered an environmental pollution event. Based on our observations, the repercussions of such events can be far reaching and the financial and legal cost can be high. 

Always, the best way to deal with a hydraulic oil spill is to prevent it from happening in the first place. While it can be difficult to predict an oil spill, there are a few ways to decrease the likelihood of one occurring. Hydraulic oil spills can be prevented by using electric equipment on golf courses, for instance. It’s also a good idea to routinely check any pipes connected to oil or other potential pollutants to ensure nothing is damaged.

Other Environmental Threats

Pollutants like herbicides and pesticides, as well as irrigation problems, are some additional concerns regarding golf courses and their environmental impact. Any major leak of herbicides or pesticides could cause major damage to a golf course, so it’s important to have a strong storage system and the proper certification necessary to apply the chemicals. Consider OPG+ as a stress-free shortcut for all of your oil spill needs. Our proprietary solution has little to no impact, and can actually convert oil into water using natural processes.

Golf courses require large amounts of water in order to maintain acres of grass. Drainage and irrigation systems can become problematic in the case of over-irrigation or stormwater runoff because as the water flows it can pick up harmful chemicals like petroleum, pesticides, and fertilizers. These can damage grass when exposed in excess, and can even cause problems for grass outside of the golf course grounds if the water flows off-site.

How OPG+ Can Help

OPG+ offers a safe, environmentally friendly, and sustainable cleanup solution for oil spills that uses native bacteria and microbes. When it comes to hydraulic oil, OPG+ knows how to quickly and efficiently clean up a spill using a biodegradable formula that is non-toxic and won’t cause harm to a golf course’s grass. Hydraulic oil spills cause damage that can be harmful to the health of local residents and wildlife, so using a cleaning process that won’t introduce more toxins to the area is the best way to go. 
Contact us today to request a demo or find out about our emergency cleanup services!