Magnolia Oil Company helps waterfowl

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Should the need arise, Stark Parks Sanders Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Sippo Lake Park now has the hot water and equipment it needs to efficiently and effectively remove oil from waterfowl.

It is an arduous, sometimes multi-day project that requires water heated to 104 degrees, three wash tubs, a high-pressure hose, a dryer, protective clothing, a heat source to keep the birds warm while they dry and an outdoor water fowl cage where they can continue their recovery.

Thanks to a $13,000 donation from the Alliance Petroleum Corporation, the Sanders Center now has a new tank less hot water heater and new electric boxes and plumbing to make their next rescue much less stressful for their waterfowl patients. Instead of washing the distressed patient three times over a three-day period, the cleaning can be done in one day, which is much less stressful to the bird.

On Dec. 12, three staff from the Alliance Petroleum Corporation visited the Sanders Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to learn about the Center and how its donation will be used.

Since 2009 the Center cared for 22 geese, a blue heron and a few ducks that had become covered with oil. Even a "dime-sized" area of oil on their feathers can spell their demise, according to Animal Care Supervisor Stephon Echague. The more quickly and thoroughly the waterfowl can be cleaned, the faster their recovery and release back into the wild.

"The new 23 kilowatt heater will provide an unlimited supply of hot water to the Center," said Paul Biedenbach who helped facilitate the grant and installation. Providing the hot water needed would have required a hot water tank that was too large for the small rehab facility, hence use of an Eemax brand tank less model that fits under the sink. The new electric boxes installed for the system have the added advantage of making the center safer.

Alliance Petroleum Corporation is a privately owned gas and oil company with offices in Jackson Township, Magnolia and Marietta. The company maintains approximately 800 wells in Ohio, with additional wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Sanders Center's need for equipment to clean waterfowl was brought to the company's attention by Chris Biehl, whose wife volunteers at the Center.

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