18 June 2010

Oil spill aftermath at Tanah Merah: signs of oil?

It's three weeks after the oil spill off Changi East on 25 May, and two weeks after NEA announced on 4 Jun that the water at East Coast and Changi beaches "have returned to normal". Have things "returned to normal" at Tanah Merah?
This morning a small team went to have a look. As usual, there is a line of litter on the high water mark. On the mid-water mark, a dark layer.

This dark layer on the mid-water mark is crude. On some parts, the crude is very obvious, forming a thick pudding-like mass on the surface.
In other parts of the shore, the crude has seeped into the midwater mark forming dark patches on the sand. There is still a sheen on the water surface everywhere, gathering in a thin brown scum near the rocks as the tide receeds through the seawall.
A step on the black patches, and crude oil seeps up (the little black sparkly bits that float up).
Litter on the shore retain the crude oil. There are still large sheets of plastic on the midwater mark stained with oil. Fortunately, the litter on the high shore doesn't seem to be heavily coated in crude oil. Despite the clean up effort at Tanah Merah two weeks ago, litter will keep washing up on this and our other shores.
Dark lines of crude are still found on the seawalls.
The crude that is still present on this shore results in a sheen of oil on the water surface, everywhere.
Well above the seawall, the big bags of crude-stained sand and other debris have been removed. But the oil has seeped through the bags and into the ground where the bags used to be.
How is the marine life at Tanah Merah coping? I've done a separate post on the signs of life seen on this shore.

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