Your worst chemical spill?

Digitaria Sanguinalis

LawnSite Senior Member
With all the latest post on glyphosate, PPE, and lawsuits.

What's your worst chemical spill?

Been in the business approaching a decade. And have had only a few accidents.

Early in my career had a fitting loosen on a backpack sprayer and dumped about 2 gallons of MSMA down my back and legs and into the customer lawns.

I few years back I had an employee/ spray tech that forgot to tighten a concentrated gallon of Mesotrione. When I went to shake up the gallon container about 10-20oz came flying out all over my arm and the neighbors lawn. That Bermuda was bleach white for about two months but eventually grew back.

Just this season I had a Stihl SG20 leak about a gallon of Azoxystrobin/ Propiconazole down my legs.

I hope I'm still here in 10 years. Lol


LawnSite Fanatic
Memphis TN
Not bad but still not good. I guess not a spill but first year I was spraying I had finished the day. Unloading the equipment. Had lifted my safety glasses up on top of my head while I unloaded. Pulling a backpack sprayers off the handle caught something and the business end was directed straight at my face. Got my face and eyes drenched. Burned like a mother for about a day. I was at home so I ran water on my eyes for a good 15 min. Learned to always have eye protection on even when unloading. At least it was diluted. It was 3-way with a sticker.


LawnSite Senior Member
Had a tech roll a z spray on an area that was specifically label "push spreader only".
We had to remove sod and contaminated soil, replace with clean soil, and re-sod.
By the time it was all said in done it ran almost $20k. After that we restructured our training program and became alot more selective on who we put in the positions. Every newbie starts with a push spreader and dragging hose until they learn to appreciate the advancements in technology!


LawnSite Bronze Member
Not a spill perse, but misapplication.

Before I started my business, I worked for a company where the tech who was training me put the wrong tank on the machine...these were 5 gallon removable ones that sat in the front of the machine.

About a week later, there were a couple of phone calls to the office saying the weeds were dying as well as the grass. Well guess what, my “trainer” put the tank mixed with round up in my machine and off he went showing me how the machine operates and works on the first lawn. We pack up and go to the next one and now it is my turn. Since we were spot spraying, do I need to tell you what these lawns looked like? We would have been better off blanket spraying. The company had to hire a contractor and replace all the dead areas with new sod. Surprised those customers didn’t want a whole new lawn.

At the time, tanks were only to have plain water in them, but for some reason this tank was not marked or labeled.

BTW...this was back in the mid 80’s.

Can’t imagine what round up misapplication would bring nowadays.


LawnSite Senior Member
Did the same thing, trying to get a 4 gal sprayer backpack on, dumped MSMA.

One time washed out the sprayer tank and it still had a lot of simazine and prodiamine, wasnt thinking, and grass still hasn't come back in that spot for years.

That Guy Gary

LawnSite Gold Member
SW Idaho
I took my ride on out one morning without the nozzles on. Traveled about 15 ft after I opened the valve but stopped to figure out why it wasn't spraying . . and then just about had a heart attack.

Tall fescue lawn. I told the client what I did and let them know I'd check back a few times and repair it if necessary. Never saw any visible damage to the turf, thankfully.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Spent 10 years on HazMat with the FD and in one day we had 2 mercury thermometer calls. First on someone busted one on a wood floor and we used a small suction device and vacuumed it up. The second was in the middle of the living room floor. We cut out a 6X6 foot piece of the carpet in the middle of the floor and double bagged the carpet and pad and left it with them to call a disposal company.