Smokey Barn News
Monday June 23, 2014
Millersville – Robertson County, Tenn.
ACID Spill At R.C. Office Building Sparks Partial Evacuation
An ACID spill at the Robertson County office building located at 507 South Brown Street in Springfield sparked a partial evacuation of the back lower part of the structure. The accident occurred just after 4:00pm Monday evening. The evacuation did not affect the office areas, the jail or any of the inmates.
The ACID leak occurred in a maintenance area in the back of the building and it was quickly evacuated. The ACID was being pumped into an AC system as part of an annual cleaning of the inner workings. Having clean internal pathways of an AC system helps a cooling system transfer heat from the coolant liquid gas to the outside atmosphere and improves gas flow. The gas (in a liquid state) transfers heat better with clean internal parts.
To improve performance of the AC system’s heat transfer, Hydrochloric ACID is pumped into the System annually to clean it out. As the ACID was being pumped into the system a PVC pipe ruptured allowing liquefied Hydrochloric ACID and dangerous vapors to leak out. The leak was quickly discovered by the diligent Robertson County Maintenance personnel who were closely monitoring the maintenance procedure. The area was quickly evacuated and sealed off until the Robertson County Emergency Management Special Response Team could arrive to neutralize the ACID, ventilate the building and clean the area, according to E.M.A. Dir R.L. Douglas.
According to Douglas, some gases did leak into an elevator shaft but the amount was not significant enough to warrant further evacuations. According to Douglas, if the Robertson County Maintenance team had not been so diligently monitoring the procedure the situation could have escalated to an evacuation of the entire building, the jail and even surrounding homes.
Now that the Hydrochloric ACID has been removed from the building and neutralized it will be properly disposed of according to E.P.A. standards. Robertson County is lucky, their E.M.A. is fully equipped with state certified biochemical technicians that can handle these kind of emergencies. Without them Robertson County would have been forced to call an outside firm and shell out $15,000 to $20,000 to clean up this spill. Robertson County’s E.M.A saves the county thousands annually. They handle any and all environmental issues that can endanger the lives of citizens, like that Hand Grenade that was found in the middle of the road in Greenbrier to Chemical spills like today.
The building has been completely cleaned and ventilated so county employees can feel safe as they return to work in the morning.
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