Dickinson's Mirror Image does more than clean dirty trucksThe oil field can be a dirty, messy place to work. Area laundromats have designated machines to wash and dry oil- and grease-soaked clothes, and the fellows at Dickinson’s Mirror Image Environmental Services are trying to get the same designation for oil- and grease-soaked trucks.
By: Katherine Grandstrand, The Dickinson Press
The oil field can be a dirty, messy place to work. Area laundromats have designated machines to wash and dry oil- and grease-soaked clothes, and the fellows at Dickinson’s Mirror Image Environmental Services are trying to get the same designation for oil- and grease-soaked trucks.
The mess on oil field trucks that haul oil or other chemicals and solutions used in the drill process is not the same as the mess on cars, and needs to be cleaned carefully to make sure hazardous chemicals don’t end up in the water supply, Vice President Tyson Olson said.
“It’s quite needed,” he said. “Washing trucks, it seems like such an insignificant thing and you think it’s all about presence, but it’s more about the roads and the infrastructure and keeping all the dirt and grime and debris that comes off theses trucks off the roads.”
The two, from Bozeman, Mont., decided to set up shop in Dickinson because they wanted to protect the environment and clean the thousands of trucks in the Bakken, President Troy Butler said. The truck wash facility has been open since June.
“The (Environmental Protection Agency) is only going to let washing on the ground happen for so long,” Olson said. “Inevitably a lot of that waste and debris goes onto the ground and it’s not healthy no matter how you look at it.”
Mirror Image does more than just wash trucks, Ken Schandelmeier said.
“We’re not just a truck wash,” he said. “We are an environmental service. We’ve tried to change the way things get done up here.”
The truck wash was designed by Mirror Image to separate the water, dirt and chemicals washed off the truck so only clean water reaches the treatment facility, Olson said.
“It does all the treating of the waste,” he said. “Meaning any waste that comes through our facility goes through a conveyor system and it separates all the oil and the water and the solids.”
The chemicals used to clean the truck also make a difference, Butler said.
“A lot of guys out there don’t know chemistry and they’re throwing degreaser all over aluminum tankers and trucks and using … products that are not environmentally friendly and are not biodegradable products that can affect everything with the environment,” he said.
The cleaning agents are proprietary and exclusively available through the business, Butler said.
“We actually have several products private labeled and that you can’t get anywhere else,” he said.
In addition to washing trucks at their headquarters, they also wash on site and are certified to wash several pieces of oil field equipment, Olson said.
“We perform emergency response so if a truck rolls over on the side of the road, Mirror Image is the first to respond,” Olson said. “We come out, we control whatever’s leaking, if that’s the case, we set up containment mats to try to stop any more contamination from hitting the ground.”
From there they clean up the site, including removing and replacing the soil, he said.
They plan to expand by opening another wash bay in Williston in the spring.
Mirror Image Environmental Services is at 2810 Interstate-94 Business Loop E, Suite B, in Dickinson. For more information visit, gomirrorimage.com or call 701-483-6437.