Pillow tanks are collapsible fabric tanks that resemble a pillow when filled. These type bladder tanks are made by welding or sealing durable fabric around all four sides and adding valves for filling, emptying and pressure relief.
Over the last few years, beachgoers have been faced with the awful sights and smell of stinking seaweed washing up on the shorelines. Conditions have been perfect for the massive growth of Sargassum, the aquatic vegetation that continues to pile up on beaches throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The staffs at resorts and hotels work tirelessly to keep their beaches clean and attractive for guests. Many rely on using heavy equipment to clear the beaches daily of the Sargassum piling up on the sand. The task is required to be performed continuously when large mats of the seaweed arrive.
Sargassum isn’t all bad. Offshore, it can provide excellent habitat for sea turtles, crabs, fish, and other sea creatures. Onshore, it’s a different story. No one likes the feel of seaweed against their bodies while trying to enjoy the ocean. As Sargassum piles up on the beach, it creates a handful of problems. In addition to being unsightly, it also begins to decay onshore. As it rots, it attracts insects and produces hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is the same gas that gives rotten eggs their sulfurous smell and can cause breathing problems for beachgoers and boaters with asthma. Scientists predict that the current trend of massive Sargassum floats to continue for the foreseeable future. The Sargassum growth is tentatively linked to rising levels of nutrients in the seawater, including nitrogen and phosphorus.
For the second consecutive year, Texas Boom Company is proud to provide sponsorship for Wreaths Across America. This outstanding organization aims to achieve three primary goals:
This is in part accomplished by laying holiday wreaths at every gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1600 other locations around the country and abroad. There are a few ways you can help with this worthy cause. Saturday, December 14, 2019, is National Wreaths Across America Day. You can volunteer to help at one of the many locations with the placement of the wreaths at the gravesite of fallen veterans. You can also donate to help fund the purchase of the wreaths for placement. Your donations can be either to the national program or targeted to a local cemetery. Either way, you are helping with a worthy cause. Please consider participating in this important program.
Ship wrecks are an unfortunate reality in the ever expanding global marketplace. Weather, inexperienced or inattentive crews, and equipment failures can all be contributing factors. When ships do sink, capsize, or run aground, and immediate concern is the likliehood of the escape of oil, fuel, and other hydrocarbons that can have a negative impact on the environment. The damage that can be done to local wildlife, fisheries, and the ecosystem can be far reaching. In addition, we have seen numerous examples of the damage spills can do to people who are impacted; fisheries, tourism, transportation, and recreation are just a few examples.
A recent occurence of another shipping accident was the capsizing of the Palau-registered Queen Hind, a livestock transport departing Romania in route to Saudi Arabia on Novemeber 24. The crew of 30 was rescued, along with a small number of sheep that were being exported. Tragically, over 14,000 sheep died as the result of this ship overturning shortly after leaving port.
Turbidity curtains, also referred to as silt curtains, offer a means to keep suspended particles from vacating the immediate area in a body of water. The curtains hang from floats down into the water and impede the flow of the turbidity or silt. Over time, the suspended sediment settles back to the bottom. These floating curtains can be made from solid fabrics that impede all flow of water, or built using a geotextile mesh fabric that allows water to flow through while still blocking the silt or other particles from escaping.
One application for turbidity curtains is to contain runoff from storm drain or pump station discharge points. These are typically exit points for storm drains systems that provide drainage from developed urban areas in order to prevent or minimize flooding. Because the water is collected from public streets and other areas, the water is prone to wash away trash, dirt, and other debris. Instead of simply dumping this water into waterways, the systems may run the water through filtering processes to remove garbage and larger debris. However, these filters may not capture all of the materials suspended in the water.
Texas Boom Company just completed fabrication of a large order of 250 gallon fuel bladders headed for use by the US Army. These durable fuel bladders are constructed with fuel grade encapsulated Urethane fabric that is designed with this specific application in mind. The tank seams are welded, meaning the seams offer the same strength as the fabric itself.
Cattail Marsh is a 900 acre wildlife area located in Beaumont, Texas. This marsh is located adjacent to Tyrrell Park and serves as a component of the waste water filtration system for the city. The marsh features a 520 foot boardwalk that was installed in 2016 at a cost of $285,000. Cattail Marsh and the surrounding area support a wide variety of local wildlife and is a popular bird watching site.
As is common in many bodies of water in the area, Water Hyacinth has taken root and spread rapidly across the entire marsh. Water Hyacinth is an invasive plant species that is recognized as one of the fastest growing plant species in the world. The plants primary means of reproduction are runners that eventually form sister plants. It also produces large volumes of seeds that remain viable for up to 30 years. Because of its ability to rapidly reproduce, coverage areas can double in periods as quickly as two weeks.
Every day there are countless ongoing dredging and marine construction projects ongoing across the United States. These marine projects are driven by the need for repairs, development, and shoaling. These work zones typically require equipment and operations to be ongoing in waterways that are normally navigated by boat traffic. As these projects are executed, safety hazards can often arise not only for the workers themselves, but also for anyone on a boat in the area.
On October 17, a small commuter plane carrying 42 people skidded off the runway in Unalaska, Alaska. Unalaska is located in the Aleutian Islands and is home to Dutch Harbor, one of the busiest US fishing ports and a frequent point of reference on the popular Discovery Network TV show "Deadliest Catch." Two people were critically injured while 10 others required medical care. Amongst the passengers was a high school swim team. No one on the swim team was injured.
Texas Boom Company has produced a number of silt curtains recently from dredging projects across the US. As you would expect, as a dredging operation takes place, mud and sand are stirred into the adjacent water. This material remains suspended in the water until it washes away or settles back to the bottom. Dredgers use floating silt curtains (turbidity curtains) to keep silk and sediment from migrating while suspended. This helps to avoid muddying local waterways during the dredging process. Whether used to meet regulatory requirements or simply as a courtesy to others, silt curtains are effective in helping to reduce sediment runoff.
Three recent projects are highlighted below, selected because our customers were kind enough to share pictures of the silt curtains in use.
The Ocean Cleanup project has launched its second attempt at using a boom system to remove plastic from the world’s oceans. Last year, the initial design was launched, including the use of a 2000 foot boom to capture floating plastic in the Pacific. The target is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located midway between Hawaii and California. The initial design was launched in September of 2018, but by January, a section of the boom had become disconnected. In addition, there were issues with the inconsistent speed of how the boom traveled relative to the floating trash.
The team at The Ocean Cleanup went back to the drawing board to tackle some of the design issues. Instead of “chasing” the debris, the new design allows for the track to float into the U-shaped boom which is slowed by a large sea anchor. The boom system was broken down into segments, allowing it to be serviced at sea instead of requiring a tow back to San Francisco. In addition, the boom size was scaled back to make it feasible for the entire system to be towed at a much higher speed. Finally, the collection boom and curtain combination has been moved forward of the main boom floatation, reducing structural stress on the overall system.
On the early morning of September 8, the MV Golden Ray capsized off the coast of Brunswick, GA in St Simon Sound, approximately 80 miles south of Savannah. The exact cause of the accident has not been finally determined. Initially, four of the twenty-four individuals on board were trapped. They were subsequently rescued safely. However, the ongoing environmental hazards continue now over a month later.
Fuel and oil continue to leak from the vessel. When the accident occurred, the ship contained roughly 300,000 gallons within its tanks. To date, 220,000 gallons have been successfully pumped off. Unfortunately, there have been ongoing oil slicks located in the area, as well as oil coating the plant life along shorelines. Thousands of feet of oil spill containment boom have been deployed in the area to control the spread of the hydrocarbons and protect the shorelines.
The skilled craftsmen at Texas Boom Company have quite a bit of experience fabricating coated fabric products to exact customer specifications. These custom products are sometimes based on existing product designs, while other times they are completely unrelated to TBC's core business. Regardless, we offer our customers the ability to receive a product that meets their exact needs.
Recently, Texas Boom Company tackled a project to produce a custom-designed inflatable boom product. These 8-inch diameter inflatable booms were intended to provide flotation for a very specific application. These custom booms also required the addition of retention loops to serve as guides for this particular use. Because these booms are inflatable, you can see they require less space to transport and store when not inflated. Use of a leaf blower or an air compressor can quickly transform these from flat pockets to fully inflated floats.
Bladder Tanks (also referred to as Pillow Tanks) offer users a wide range of applications and flexibility. Because they can be compressed and rolled or folded when empty, the tanks can more readily be moved and set up in remote locations. Collapsed, the bladders require only a fraction of the space to store. Made of coated fabric, the weight of the material is also typically less than that used in rigid tanks, also making the bladder tanks easier to move. While the fabric used is very durable, these type tanks are subject to abrasions and tears, so care must be taken during storage, deployment, and use. When bladder tanks are deployed on rough surfaces, a liner is recommended below the bladder to help reduce wear. While not suitable for every application, these bladder tanks offer great utility to end-users.
As the recovery in the Bahamas continues following the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian, it offers a lesson in the value of preparedness. Companies and governments around the globe work to balance the expense and efforts to plan for all contingencies against the threat of a wide variety of disasters and the resulting damage. With regard to oil spills, there is no doubt that the damage can vast and extensive. It highlights the need to have oil spill response equipment on-site and ready for immediate deployment. Waiting to bring oil spill containment boom, oil skimmers, and other equipment in after the fact, especially when infrastructure may be damaged and access severely limited can often compound an already serious problem. The sooner the equipment is deployed after a spill, the more effective the containment and recovery efforts will be.
Photo Credit: Ramon Espinosa/AP
Recently a historic wooden schooner sank in Hamburg, Germany as the result of a collision with a 462-foot container ship. The 136-year-old sailing ship had just undergone an expensive renovation and had recently returned to Hamburg from a Danish shipyard. There happened to be response vessels in the area, and the 43 passengers were quickly rescued. One passenger was severely injured while four others also incurred relatively minor injuries.
Image Source: DLRG
As the 2019 WEDA Dredging Summit and Exposition wraps up, Texas Boom Company is pleased to announce that Seth Gintz with Certified Laboratories in Charleston, SC was selected as the winner of RTIC 30 Soft Cooler. This event has proven to be an outstanding opportunity to interact with many of the outstanding dredging companies that operate across the United States and Canada.
Texas Boom Company serves the dredging industry by providing top quality silt curtains used in dredging and marine construction projects. TBC offers a wide range of these silt curtains including permeable and impermeable options. The heights of these silt curtains range from three to 100 feet and they are typically supplied in 50 or 100 foot lengths. Custom built silt curtains are no problem, as we can accommodate virtually any specification.
Texas Boom Company is pleased to be participating in the 2019 Dredging Summit and Expo, hosted by the Western Dredging Association (WEDA). This annual meeting brings together many of the leaders in the dredging industry and is a great opportunity for ongoing education and networking. Texas Boom Company is a burgeoning leader in supplying silt curtains to the dredging industry.
It's exciting to hear about all the projects underway across the US. Customization of silt curtains to the exact specifications is a leading topic of discussion amongst our existing and prospective customers here at the show. Each of these projects is planned and executed with exacting attention to detail. Texas Boom Company has the ability to quickly deliver customized silt curtains to meet the demanding needs of these dredging customers.
A collision between a tanker and two barges occurred in the Houston Ship Channel on Friday, May 10, 2019. The tanker collided with one of the barges, resulting in the second barge capsizing. The barge damage resulted in a spill of 9000 gallons of flammable material called reformate, which is a gasoline blend. Six oil skimmers have recovered 376 barrels of product-water mixture. More than 20,000 feet of spill containment boom was deployed to contain the spill and help protect vulnerable areas. Salvage teams have secured the two barges and all remaining product has been removed from the damaged barges. The spill has resulted in some wildlife and fish deaths, and seafood warning was issued by the Texas Department of Health. Air quality tests in the area have resulted in no actionable levels. The Galveston Bay Foundation will continue to take water samples for testing. At this time, the Houston Ship Channel has resumed full operation.
At Texas Boom Company, we stock a wide range of products that meet the needs of many of our customers. We develop these core lines of containment boom, silt curtains, and secondary containment berms based on a long history of fabricating these type products per the specifications of our clientele. TBC has also learned along the way that many of our customers have a unique need that isn’t necessarily addressed by one of our off-the-shelf solutions.
A recent example includes a new customer who is looking to use silt curtains to help manage the flow of algae and had a few criteria that were important to him as he looked to purchase silt curtains. His first requirement was a durable fabric that would hold up over repeated use. He planned to deploy, retrieve and store the silt curtains daily, and he wanted a longer-life silt curtain that would hold up to frequent use.