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Oil spills

Among the most dangerous of all water pollutants is fuel oil. Oil spills from tankers at sea or leaks from underground storage tanks on land are very difficult to control as oil tends to spread very fast, affecting a large area in a very short time. They are a major menace to the environment as they cause severe damage to surrounding ecosystems. Oil spills at sea decrease the oxygen level in the water and cause grave harm to the creatures living in the sea. Since crude oil is lighter than water, it floats on the surface and poses the threat of swift-spreading fire. Oil spills are rather common as oil tankers can meet with accidents either in deep sea or offshore, while waiting to be loaded or unloaded. During the Gulf War, several oil reservoirs were destroyed at sea and the effect on marine life was devastating. Seabirds and fish were washed ashore, their bodies covered with oil. On land crude is transported through pipelines or tankers which can get damaged and spew out crude oil over the land, thereby contaminating it.

Bioremediation is a method that is now being use to put a check to the damage done by this oil spill.

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