Oil Skimmer Efficiently Removes Oily Sludge from Truck Wash Wastewater
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
With a fleet of 250 tanker trucks—35 of which are used to haul soybean oil—one U.S.-based trucking company is dedicated to thoroughly cleaning its large fleet following transportation jobs. The oil tankers can each haul approximately 48,000 pounds of oil, so when cleaning the tanks, a significant amount of residual oil often mixes with the wash water.
As is common practice in many municipalities, local regulations require the trucking company to remove all residual oil from the wastewater before allowing the wastewater to be discharged into the city sewer system. When the trucking company reassessed their process for doing so, they found glaring inefficiencies.
An Inefficient Skimming Process Left Room for Improvement
To clean out the tankers, the trucking company’s maintenance crew was spraying water mixed with a non-toxic cleaner into the trailers. The oil-infused water was collected in holding tanks and the crew then manually skimmed the oil from the wastewater solution.
While this process was good enough for the water to meet local wastewater regulations, it wasn’t cost-effective. The team had to repeatedly purchase tank cleaner and the labor costs required to manually skim the oil from the holding tank were simply too high.
The company’s head mechanic knew there had to be a more efficient and cost-effective way to remove the oil from the wastewater before the water was processed—especially since the company already had a dissolved air flotation (DAF) unit available as a potential aid for oil removal.
Tube-Type Oil Skimmer Delivers ROI and Meets Wastewater Regulations
The company decided to install a tube-type oil skimmer from Oil Skimmers, Inc. as a complementary component to its current DAF unit.
The specially formulated closed-loop oil collector tube skims the surface of the wastewater, and oil adheres to the outside of the tube while the tube moves easily around floating debris. The floating tube is then drawn across the surface of the water, into the oil skimmer and through ceramic scrapers that remove the oil. The tube then returns to the water’s surface to collect more oil, while the recovered oil flows to a collection container.
Since the installation of the tube-type oil skimmer, which can run continuously, the trucking company no longer needs to manually collect sludge from the wastewater, delivering substantial labor savings. The company notes that the oil skimmer is so effective, it even enhances the DAF unit’s performance. As a result of the optimized DAF unit performance, the company uses significantly fewer flocking agents to break up the oil, saving even more money.
According to the company’s mechanic, the oil skimmer has saved enough time and money to more than pay for its cost, all while meeting the city’s wastewater regulations.