Hazardous Material Spills
The most common type of hazardous materials incident in Alachua County results from vehicle accidents where the fuel tank is damaged and releases fuel or other engine fluids to the roadway. Hydraulic oil can also be spilled during an accident or when hydraulic lines break on a truck or piece of heavy equipment. Fuel and hydraulic oil is easily recovered when the material spills on the ground or roadway. Upon arriving at the scene of a spill, the Alachua County Department of Fire and Rescue Services work diligently to prevent any material from entering the storm drain system and, subsequently, any natural waterways.
Chemical, acid, and mercury spills occur in both residential and industrial settings and are usually contained within a confined area and recovered. Gaseous material releases can come from home propane tanks or ammonia and chlorine cylinders. Most agricultural and lawn product spills include pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides spilled by home users. Some of these spills result from accidents involving lawn maintenance company vehicles.
Global Hazardous Material Incident Map
Diesel Fuel Spills
The predominant type of material spilled in Alachua County falls into the Fuel/Diesel Fuel category and covers the range of fuels that include diesel fuel, kerosene, home heating oil, and jet fuels. By far the most commonly spilled fuel is diesel fuel
Most trucks traveling through Alachua County are powered by diesel engines. The fuel for these trucks is contained in a saddle tank that is located on the cab of a truck, just below each of the doors. You will see these tanks on tractor-trailer rigs, dump trucks, delivery trucks and other large vehicles.
Generally, the bottoms of these tanks are approximately 12 inches from the road surface. Their capacity can range from 150 to 200 gallons, allowing a total conveyance of up to 400 gallons of fuel. The placement of these tanks puts them in an extremely vulnerable position, subject to punctures from road debris, curbs, vehicle accidents and numerous other hazards.