Selecting the Right Wash Bay Wastewater Treatment Equipment

Getting Started

First review your local city and county regulations for the limits set on fat, oil, and grease that can be discharged. Take a sample of your wastewater and have it analyzed for the list of parameters in your local sewer regulations. Compare your sample results with the local limits, you may not need any treatment at all. Keep your analytical data on hand just in case you need it and resample annually or at the frequency required in your local regulations. Wastewater that doesn’t meet your local limits for fat, oil, grease or any other parameter cannot be put into the sanitary sewers without some type of treatment. Next look for ways to cut down on oils and grease in your wastewater. If you can’t find ways to cut back, decide which type of treatment equipment or management system will work for you.

Oil Water Separators

Most oily wastewater can be treated with a simple oil water separator. This is a physical separation process consisting of a separation vault and coalescing plates to remove emulsified oils, small droplets that will not float to the top. Soaps or strong agitation can make the oil stay in small droplets that won’t float to the top of the water. (if your waste water contains oils and looks gray in color you probably have emulsified oils). Oil water separators are most effective for non-emulsified wastewater. See our standard oil water separators.

Chemical Treatment

If your oily water contains emulsified oils you may need to try chemical treatment or a combination of physical and chemical treatment. Our clarifier units are ideal for emulsified oils but they are slightly more complicated to operate and maintain. Call for a treatability test kit.

Recycle Systems

If you are in an area where discharge to a sanitary sewer is not possible you may want to consider a full recycle system. If emulsified oils are not a problem consider the wastewater recycle system. If emulsified oils are expected look at our recycle clarifiers.

Disposal Facility

If you can’t treat your oily wastewater chemically or with an oil water separator, the oily wastewater can be transported to a treatment facility for oily water. Oily wastewater usually doesn’t designate as “hazardous waste” unless a hazardous substance (such as solvent) has been added or the process involves heavy metals. Look on line under “Tank Cleaning” or “Vacuum Cleaning – Industrial,” for a transportation and disposal facility in your area. You may want to consider a wastewater evaporator to lower your overall disposal costs.

Sumps and Pits

Your sump system must be properly sized for both the volume of wash water you expect to generate and for the amount of solids (mud, dirt, oil and grease) that you expect to generate. If the sump system is too small, the sump pump will send excessive solids to your treatment unit causing mechanical failures and excessive maintenance. If you are using a hot water pressure washer you can also foul the heating coils and possibly block the system. If your sump system is too large and you are trying to recycle your wash waters you may experience mechanical problems and overflow problems, not to mention that you may have spent to much money on an oversized system. The problem with oversized sumps is that a float controlled sump pump will deliver too much water for the same draw down when compared to a properly sized sump. This excess water will be wasted through the system overflow or cause the system to run continuously. The problem can be corrected by installing a shorter throw pump switch, installing a timer or installing a separate pumping pit. I any case you are increasing your maintenance time and operation costs. Click here for specifications and pricing information on fiberglass pit liners and sumps.

Call us toll free at 1-800-469-0799 to see if these units will work for your wastewater.

One Comment

  1. I liked reading about how oil water separators are very effective for wastewater that is not emulsified and that you might be able to tell if yours is emulsified by checking if it has oils and is grayish. My dad is looking to buy wastewater treatment equipment and isn’t sure what to get. I would imagine that finding oil water separation technology could be a good option for him.

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