It’s an El Niño summer in Australia this year – but what does this really mean?
With prolonged periods of drier and hotter weather conditions expected, we’re in for a stifling few months, which can mean significant industrial impact and challenges across the sector. Dust risks will prove a particular pain point.
Fortunately, now is the perfect time to prepare for El Niño and allow your work to proceed with ease through the seasons.
Understanding El Niño
What is El Niño?
El Niño is a climate driver, part of a natural cycle known as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It is associated with sustained periods of warming, reduced rainfall and a shift in temperature extremes, meaning wide-area heatwaves, single-day extremes and long-duration warm spells causing weather disruptions.
And, unfortunately, research suggests that global climate change will mean strong El Niño events may become more frequent.
El Niño in Australia
Australia experiences many climate drivers – both natural and manmade – which impact weather patterns. El Niño – and its reverse, La Niña – are said to have the strongest influence on year-to-year Australian climate variability.
As reported by the Bureau of Meteorology, an El Niño is underway, and likely to persist until the end of February 2024. This is paired with a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which means a stronger and more widespread drying effect incoming.
With that, dust mitigation strategies are more important than ever for the industrial sector.
Dust challenges for industries
Dust problems in industrial sectors
Environmental concerns and conditions can not only have detrimental industrial impacts but pose severe health and safety risks. Mining, maintenance, process activities and construction can all result in dust problems, and controlling dust is one of the greatest ongoing challenges in the industrial sector.
Consequences of dust issues
Left unmanaged, dust problems, exacerbated by an El Niño phenomenon, can have significant consequences.
First and foremost, all airborne dust causes health hazards. Inhalation, skin and eye contact, and ingestion of dust can all lead to health problems.
Then, there is the environmental impact. Depending on chemical composition, dust can impede the growth of plants, deplete soil nutrients, damage crops and change nutrient balance in water systems.
Finally, there is the issue of reduced productivity, and the knock-on economic, sustainability and time management issues. With the long dry periods to come, dust will have consequences on sites across the country.
State and territory governments across Australia implement dust exposure limits, with efforts to efforts to reduce environmental and social impacts efficiently. From mine sites and energy plants to civil works and manufacturing, dust suppression is imperative.
Erizon’s dust mitigation solutions
Tailored solutions for industries
Our team at Erizon have extensive expertise in dust suppression solutions. We offer targeted solutions tailored to a range of industries, including everything from mining, energy and deference to landscaping, agriculture and rail. With state-of-the-art products and science-backed treatments developed with Australia’s changing climates, variable weather and unique landscapes at the forefront, preparing your site for El Niño is easy with Erizon.
Supply Apply Guarantee
Erizon’s point of difference from other dust control partners comes from our Supply Apply Guarantee.
Our experienced agronomists, horticulturalists and soil scientists work to supply dust mitigation products and solutions made from the highest quality materials, extensively tested to ensure project success the first time around.
Our highly trained technicians then apply with precision and accuracy using specialist equipment, meeting Australian Safety, Environmental, and Quality standards.
With these, you have Erizon’s commitment to guaranteeing an end-to-end solution ensuring your unique goals are met.
Preparing for El Niño with Erizon
Road dust control
Haul roads are prone to generating dust due to wind erosion and vehicular traffic, and with El Niño’s widespread drying effect, unsealed road surfaces will become exceedingly unstable. To remedy this, Erizon has developed RoadBond, a non-corrosive, environmentally friendly dust suppressant solution designed for road dust control, ensuring safe and efficient transportation while maintaining road stability, minimising tyre wear, and reducing overall maintenance costs.
Stockpile and storage facilities
When it comes to tailings storage, ash dams and stockpile management, SuppressX is the ideal dust suppression solution for non-trafficked areas. Forming a protective, flexible crust over the substrate, dust lift-off is eliminated, ensuring environmental protection.
SuppressX is also perfect for supporting dust management in civil and infrastructure projects, creating a safer work environment and improving overall productivity. For extreme conditions, we look to FibreLoc, an advanced dust suppression product.
New vegetation has a particularly tough time coping during El Niño events, with recommendations for revegetation projects to be delayed. If this is not an option, then HydroBond is the ideal solution. Perfect for where dust suppression is the immediate concern, but long-term revegetation is the goal, HydroBond promotes plant growth in all soil and sand types, improves water retention and prevents nutrient leaching.
El Niño and your site’s months ahead
The earlier and more thorough dust mitigation plans are put in place, the better prepared your site will be for El Niño. Your proactive measures will mean a seamless transition into the exceptionally warm, dry and dusty months ahead. Partnership with Erizon will ensure the safeguarding of your operations and the Australian environment.
Contact Erizon for dust solutions
Ready to explore dust solutions tailored to your site? Get in touch with the Erizon team and get ahead of El Niño.