Miss. business owner claims her vacuum could clean up oil

By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As oil continues to spew from the oil well in Gulf the owner of a Mississippi company said she has the answer that could help stop the oil before it reaches the beaches. Suzanne Huber has been working with large vacuum equipment for more than 20 years. She claims the equipment has been proved to remove oil from water and this procedure was used during the Exxon Valdez spill. She said it should be used to clean up the oil that is in the Gulf now.

Suzanne Huber, who owns and operates Keith Huber Incorporated in Gulfport, has made proposals to BP officials trying to get her product approved to vacuum oil out of the Gulf.

Suzanne Huber said, "The best way to use all equipment is in a concentrated area which is always as close to the well site as possible or closest to the booms where the oil is being concentrated and collected or unfortunately on shore."

Huber said one single King Vacuum pump can collect more than 300 gallons per minute not only on top of the water, but also beneath the water's surface.

Suzanne Huber said, "The King Vac has a liquid ring pump. It has been approved in the petroleum industry because it uses water to create a vacuum, which is better when you're using with explosive materials."

The vacuum can be used off shore by loading tanks onto a barge .

Suzanne Huber said, "One scenario is to take a single vacuum pump, King Vac vacuum pump, and engine and 16 tanks that are 4,000 gallons each okay, two operators can run it."

This method could suck up about 64 thousand gallons per hour, she said. And once oil is vacuumed through the hose and collected in the tank the process doesn't stop.

"We can also take a single piece of vacuum equipment either pump into a barge or either pump into tanks that can be off loaded and onto the shore and then de-watered disposed of on shore and taken to re-cycling centers for example or back into the refineries," she said., "We need this type of equipment out there not only today, but yesterday and 49 days ago."

Hurber said the units can be used to clean up oil that has already reached the beaches, as well.

Huber stresses that a vacuum with a 3-inch hose could collect 64 thousand gallons. The hose that could be used offshore could be much larger than 3 inches which would bring in greater volume.

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