As an environmental construction company, our mission is to preserve and protect our watershed. Of course, being a construction company using heavy equipment machinery, we can sometimes make a mess. We try to mitigate our impact on the environment during our restoration projects as much as we can. One solution we came up with was replacing our manufacturers hydraulic oil with biodegradable hydraulic oil in our heavy equipment machines.
Conventional or petroleum-based hydraulic oil, which is typically used in large equipment such as excavators, rubber tracked dump trucks and LGP bulldozers, are often damaging to the environment. The oil can drip onto parking lots and roadways, and can seep into local groundwater, underground streams and rivers. When heavy equipment is needed on sensitive areas such as a stream restoration project, it is critical to consider the impact you make and consider a biodegradable option. There are multiple advantages to using biodegradable oil, but the most important factor is that it will prevent pollutants from contaminating the soil and ground water.
Now, let’s talk about biodegradability and what it means. Biodegradability is the disintegration of materials by bacteria, fungi, or other biological means. The term is often used in relation to biomedicine, waste management, ecology, and the bioremediation of the natural environment. The process of biodegradation relies on certain microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast and fungi that break down molecules for sustenance.
At EQR, we have converted 50 machines to date with biodegradable oil. We focused on machines that spend time in or around water. We concentrated on the machines that work in the streams and water shed first. It took approximately 1 year to complete this conversion at an estimated cost of $150K.
Protecting our environment, air quality and water supply is crucial and is everyone’s responsibility. By taking proactive measures, we are helping to preserve and extend the quality of life on our planet and create a healthier environment for future generations.