Protectakote Pty Ltd (Protectakote) is a small metal plating and powder coating operation located in the Geelong region of Victoria. The company employs approximately 15 people.
The main operation involves cyanide-zinc plating of a range of metal components. High volume pieces, such as brackets, are processed in a barrel plating line. Larger pieces are processed using racks, or occasionally by hand. Components are finished with either a blue or gold chromate.
Zinc die cast components are also cleaned in a separate barrel line using an acid based cleaner followed by phosphate treatment.
Effluent from the two plating lines was discharged, via floor drains, to a central pit, where the pH was adjusted to a target value of 10. The effluent was then pumped to a series of holding tanks where it was held for approximately 24 hours to allow settling of the precipitated metals. The resultant sludge phase was then drained off through a manifold system fitted with a number of filter bags. The filtrate was discharged to sewer. The sludge filled filter bags were allowed to dry prior to disposal. The clarified effluent was also discharged to sewer.