When the weather turns cold and the snow and ice starts to accumulate, it can put a real damper on your mining operations. Ice that accumulates on your mining equipment, such as the drills or excavators, can just about completely halt work flow even if the ground is still warm enough for you to work. In these situations, deicing agents are commonly used to spray down equipment and machinery to keep it functional until temperatures change. Even though deicing sprays have been used in a variety of industries for the exact same purpose for a lot of years, these chemical-containing agents can pose a risk to the environment. Take a look at some of the things you should be doing to reduce environmental contamination from deicing your mining setup.
Collect the deicing fluid for reuse or proper disposal.
Even though collecting the deicing fluid can sound like a major chore, this is actually now possible. The EPA recently brought to light the dangers of the chemical-containing deicing agents in the environment when they are not properly handled, which can include threats to local water supplies and wildlife. Because of this new information, you can now easily find recapturing devices and sheeting that can be used to catch a percentage the excess runoff so not so much of it leaks out into the surrounding environment.
While the amount of runoff you capture when you use the deicing solution on your mining equipment may seem like little in comparison to what you use, every little bit that you conserve can help. After all, most deicing agents are only harmful to the environment in massive quantities.
Consider switching to a natural deicing fluid instead of a chemical-based fluid.
There are different forms of deicing agents for use in industrial applications. While the chemical-based deicing agents, such as those made up of mostly propylene glycol and ethylene glycol, are more commonly available, there are also natural alternatives in deicing agents as well. For example, salt-based deicing agents do work quite well at melting away snow and ice, and even help prevent ice accumulation for a period after it is applied.
If your mining setup does not allow you a recapturing option for deicing agents, it can be well worth the effort to look at the alternative deicing agents available. While these deicing agents can be more expensive or harder to find,they can be less of a threat to the surrounding environment.