Using a Vacuum Truck to Clean Silos
How do you dry 80,000 lbs. of wheat flour, contained in a silo and wet from rain from a hurricane ? You don't. You use a vacuum truck to remove it from the silo and then you dump it.
By all accounts, Hurricane Irma was a deadly and powerfully damaging storm. The category 5 storm left tens of thousands of people homeless and struggling to meet basic needs of food, water, and shelter in the Caribbean islands. Here in the US mainland, Irma left a trail of devastation throughout the Southeast flooding major cities and leaving millions without power.
Industrial facilities did not escape the wrath of Irma either. At least one milling company had wet flour from all the rain, even though it was stored in silos.
Microbial and bacterial contamination of wheat flour has seldom been a problem because of the low moisture content of the flour itself. But Hurricane Irma made it a problem. The damage done to this one industrial facility had costs from the lost product because of the amount of rain dumped by Irma.
Moisture is a required component for the growth of a variety of organic problems in the food industry. Silos often have nooks and crannies where moisture can be trapped. When a food source is added to this trapped moisture, organic matter can start to grow. The resulting organic growth could poison or contaminate the product, resulting in serious issues for the manufacturer.
When you judge the importance of the damage done to one industrial facility by considering it in relation to the lives lost and the total destruction done by Irma, you have to put it in to perspective.
But the damage was done and Blackwell’s, Inc. used it’s GapVax Hydro/Air Vacuum truck to remove the contaminated flour from 2 flour silos and to dump it in roll-off dumpsters for disposal by the facility.
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