From packaged food producers to snack-food manufacturers and more, those in the food and beverage industry typically find oil – such as that from kettles and fryers or canning/seamer applications – often mixes with wash water used during production and/or cleaning. The resulting water/oil mix becomes part of the wastewater stream, complicating the wastewater treatment process by making it more expensive, more time-consuming, and less effective.
In the chemical industry, oil is often discharged into wastewater during processes such as cooling or polymerization. This oil/water solution typically collects in common industry basins following completion of one of these processes or sumps when rainwater washes away oil that has leaked or spilled.
In the metal machining industry, oil used to lubricate equipment can leak into coolant during the machining process. When oil is not removed from coolant, the coolant can deteriorate and bacteria can grow. Additionally, wastewater and wash water pick up coolant and oil during the machining process – any coolant or oil must be separated and removed to ensure compliance with wastewater regulations.
In the military, there are various instances in which oil recovery and removal is necessary. From properly disposing of cooking oil from mess halls to effectively removing spilled or leaked oil from military airplane, ship, or tank fleets as well as other heavy equipment. As in many industries, oil from military applications is often mixed with water as a result of cleaning and washing processes.
Mining equipment is known to commonly leak oil and fuel. And, more often than not, wash water is used to rinse such leaks. This oil/water solution is often funneled into collection pits where any oil must be separated and removed from the wastewater to ensure compliance with wastewater regulations.
In the oil drilling and saltwater disposal industry, companies must properly dispose of saltwater (used in oil production) from oil-production sites. Oil drilling and/or saltwater disposal companies store this wastewater, which often has residual oil in it following extraction from the ground, in outdoor disposal pits according to regulatory guidelines.
In the parts washing industry, metal parts need to be thoroughly washed prior to being painted or coated to eliminate any oil that may be present on the metal and ensure the metal touts a clean surface. During the washing process, residual oil and grease is washed off the parts; however, in the process, it mixes with wash water, which is then collected in a containment area.
In petrochemical plants, process oil and oil used for equipment can leak or spill. Water is used to channel spilled oil to plant treatment systems where it then needs removed from the wastewater solution to ensure compliance with wastewater regulations.
In the railroad industry, oil is prevalent – oil leaks and fuel spills are commonplace, oil and fuel is often washed off of locomotives during cleaning prior to maintenance, and more. To help ensure compliance with wastewater regulations and maintain environmental responsibility, railroad yards direct collected oil, fuel, wash water and rainwater to collection pits or catch basins.
From scale pits to cooling water and wastewater treatment areas or final discharge ponds, there are various points where oil is bound to meet and mix with water throughout the steel production process.
In the tank truck wash industry, oil often mixes with wash water during the tank and truck cleaning process. The resulting oil/water mix is collected in a wastewater containment area where oil then needs to be separated and removed from the wastewater.