The city of Orange Beach has a new high tech tool that will help insure the beaches are indeed “oil-free” when BP gets through with their “deep clean.”
ORANGE BEACH, Alabama – Inside a box, a sample of what you might find on one of Alabama’s beaches including sand, shells and oil.
Some obvious, some not so much.
But turn the lights off and using a UV light, everything that shows up orange, is oil.
“We think it’s a really good tool its just one more thing to make sure that we have or they have done a good job cleaning up and restoring the beach,” says city environmental engineer, Kit Alexander.
The technology was created by the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. It’s about two feet long and uses a series of UV lights to detect petroleum products.
One of the first places the UV light was tested was at the Cotton Bayou beach access. It saw more than it’s share of oil and oil byproducts over the summer. So they were anxious to see what the light would show.
“We were surprised we did not see hardly any orange on the beach at the beach access where they had cleaned,” says Alexander.
The light is quick and easy. “A real good way to quickly access when we don’t have time to do the sampling or determining whether you got hydrocarbons or organic matter washing up,” says Alexander.
BP has finished deep cleaning Orange Beach. This new tool will help make sure they did a good job.
“We want to make sure that the beaches we accept are the beaches alabama will be proud of,” says Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon.
The city of Orange Beach has bought one of these UV lights at a cost of about 3 thousand dollars. It can be attached to boats or four wheelers and check the beaches and the back bays for oil from the Deepwater Horizon.