Oil exists in several forms in wastewater or stormwater. This is true especially in an industrial plant. It is up to the industrial technicians and the staff at water treatment facilities to determine the amount of oil in the water in order to select the best oil-water separator. There is a maximum limit of oil in storm or wastewater that can be discharged into a river or stormwater drain. If your storm or wastewater has oil limits beyond the set limit, you may face prosecution on charges of polluting the environment.
An oil separator is a device that removes oil from industrial stormwater or wastewater system. The separation utilizes different techniques which depend on the application or the use of the system. Players in the refinery industry apply the system of gravitational separation to separate oil from water. A gravity oil separator only separates oil and water and not other products like metals, solvents, and detergents.
If your stormwater or wastewater carries other substances like metals, you should first remove the substances before discharging the water into stormwater drains or recycling plant. Water that undergoes recycling should be free of oil and other substances that could cause reactions in treatment plants.
How an Oil Separator Works
An oil-water separator works with the concept that water is denser than oil therefore, oil floats on water. When separating oil from water, the wastewater gets into a separation tank and goes through numerous filters. The filters trap small oil particles and other solids and prevent them from going into a recycling or sewer system. Most of the oil will float until it accumulates to the required level. The oil is then pumped out of the tank. The remaining solution has less than 10 ppm of oil which is the required maximum amount of oil allowed into a sewer or drain system.
If you have an industrial plant that covers oil or metal processing, you should harvest the stormwater from your facility instead of directly draining it into a treatment plant or public sewer system. The water often collects harmful substances such as metal, oil, and chemicals that pose a danger to public health at the event that the into water contaminates sources. Moreover, any wastewater from a facility should be treated according to set standards before discharging it into a wastewater management system.
Common Issues with Oil Water Separators
Running an oil-water separator requires one to be aware of the possible problems that may arise in order to prevent them. Some of the issues to expect while operating the separator are
- Ensure that there is no sludge build-up in the oil separator as this will reduce its efficiency and cause it to malfunction.
- Check that the waste oil drum does not fill with oil as this will prevent skimming off the oil at the surface. If this happens, the oil will be discharged together with the wastewater to the environment.
- Check the skimmers so that they do not get blocked by some of the solid waste in the wastewater. Clean them regularly and use strainers to catch the solid waste.
- The dirt in wastewater can harm the pump thus reducing its functionality
If you need a waste oil separator to process your wastewater before draining it into the wastewater treatment system, many companies offer quality industrial filtration systems. Look for one that suits your needs and consult widely to get the right product.