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Red Paint Spills into SC Drain System

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2024


Officials are working to clean up drains in Gaffney, Sorth Carolina, after non-toxic paint from a neighboring business spilled into a drain.

The Gaffney Fire Department and a Hazmat unit reportedly responded around 11:00 a.m. on Feb. 21 after reports of an unknown red liquid from a local homeowner on their property.

After inspecting the liquid, all tests reportedly came back normal except for the pH test, which indicated there was a strong base in the water. Other reports indicate that it tested alkaline, acidic and corrosive, “creating a characteristic hazardous waste.”

Crews then traced the liquid to a nearby business, determining that it was a non-toxic water-soluble paint. Details of how much paint was involved in the spill have not been released.

According to emergency management director Doug Bowers, the paint was kept in a tote and placed in a dumpster. When the dumpster was lifted for collection, the paint spilled out and went into a nearby drain.

Officials explained that they dammed and diked the ditch to prevent the liquid from spreading further.

The business, which has not been named, has reportedly hired a contractor to clean up the spill and clean the drains the paint ran through.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was also contacted and is currently working with the company throughout cleanup.

“The business owner was more than helpful, didn’t try to hide it. They are working with DHEC to get a cleanup contractor in there. They told us whatever we have to do to fix it tell me and I will get it done,” Bowers said.

Other Paint Spills

In September of last year, the Alexandria Fire Department in Virginia issued a public warning about a paint spill that had contaminated waterways near Monticello Park off of Old Dominion Boulevard.

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APV Engineered Coatings

According to local news reports, a resident notified the fire department Saturday morning of an unknown cloudy substance in the water that could be seen from the park’s walking trail.

The department’s Hazardous Materials team and the Fire Marshal’s Office reportedly performed an investigation at the scene, determining that the source of the substance was a storm drain near the intersection of Crestwood Drive and Old Dominion Boulevard.

Results of water testing helped investigators determine that the substance in the water was a latex primer paint material.

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Modern Safety Techniques

The fire department reportedly canvassed the surrounding area for any potential witnesses to the spill. After conducting its investigation, it was determined that the spill was an accident.

According to the fire department, the local water supply was not affected by the spill, and that natural flushing of the waterway will remedy the situation.

Prior to that, at the beginning of last year, a delivery truck lost control and rolled over onto its side in Australia, spilling six tons of paint onto the highway.

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Tarps manufacturing, Inc.

While some reports described the spill as something “akin to a Jackson Pollock painting,” the Fire and Rescue New South Wales worked to clean up the paint and keep it contained to protect the local area from damage.

While one lane was shut down, crews worked to remove the water-based paint. Emergency services reportedly used shovels to create a dam to prevent the paint from travelling down the steep road.

Firefighters also used absorbent material and booms to contain the contents of hundreds of punctured paint cans. A heavy haulage recovery contractor righted and recovered the truck, Fire and Rescue NSW reported.

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Rapid Prep, LLC

The driver was not injured, and there were no other vehicles involved in the incident.

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Tagged categories: Accidents; Cleanup; Coating Materials - Commercial; drainage; Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; Good Technical Practice; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Paint; Water/Wastewater


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