How an oil water separator can help your business

Cleanawater on 26 November 2021

Oil water separators have become standard pieces of equipment for treating wastewater and protecting the environment. They can remove oil in water down to 10 to 15 microns and have capacities ranging from 1,000 litres to 5,000 litres. As such oil water separators are used by a wide range of industries to clean their wastewater before discharging to trade waste.

Contact Cleanawater to find out more about our range of oil water separators.

Oil water separators offer two main benefits to customers:

1. Oil water separators protect the environment

Oil is one of the worst contaminants for water ecosystems because it spreads out over a large area. One litre of oil can contaminate a million litres of water as it forms a thin layer on the surface of the water.

The reason oil is so detrimental to the environment is because it cuts off oxygen supply to the plants and animals that live in the water. Whether the ecosystem is made up of coral, seagrass or mangroves, the effect is the same as oil contamination chokes the supply of oxygen and damages the environment.

Oil also sticks to the fur and feathers of animals and birds. This affects their insulation from heat and cold and also the waterproofing properties of their outer coat. It is often impossible for animals to clean themselves from oil because the oil sticks so stubbornly to their coat of fur or feathers.

Once oil enters the ecosystem, it passes from one level to the next up the food chain. In this way, oil poisons animal life that may not have been exposed to the original spill. Even small amounts of oil entering the ecosystem via the trade waste system has the potential to damage the environment and cause harm to animals and plants

The best way to protect the environment from oil spill damage is to prevent the oil from entering the ecosystem in the first place. This is why oil water separators play such an important role for businesses of any size. A properly sized and efficient oil water separator can separate oil from trade waste for disposal in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

2. Oil water separators keep businesses compliant

Australian regulators set strict requirements and monitor the performance of any business that has potential to impact the environment. Regulations are enforced by means of permits and fines and businesses that fail to comply could even find themselves shut down until they rectify the issues at their facility.

Some businesses are under the mistaken assumption that they are too small to affect the environment and are not required to implement trade waste treatment solutions. They may even discharge effluent water to the storm water system, which is not permissible in Australia.

Any business that intends to discharge trade waste to the wastewater sewer network must first obtain a trade waste permit from their local water authority. The application walks businesses through the process of identifying their contaminants and assessing their risk to the environment. Their level of risk also helps local water authorities to determine the appropriate prerequisite conditions before issuing the trade waste permit.

Oil water separators are a common form of pretreatment solution required by local water authorities before allowing a business to discharge their trade waste. This is because many businesses making use of water have the potential to generate oily trade waste. Car washes, workshops, service stations, and industrial sites all wash equipment that could be leaking oil. An oil water separator is the ideal equipment to capture that oil and clean the trade waste before discharge.

There are two ways in which a business can fail to comply with local regulations.

  • The business fails to implement the pretreatment solution specified on their trade waste permit.
  • The business discharges trade waste that exceeds the acceptable limits of contaminants specified on their trade waste permit.

Oil water separators help businesses to comply with their local water authority in both cases. The first step is to install an approved oil water separator that meets the requirements of the authority. Once installed, the oil water separator must be regularly maintained and kept in good operational condition.

Internal components can fail over time, like the float in the oil compartment. This could cause the oil to overflow back into the separator causing a contamination of trade waste. Businesses can maintain their compliance by entering a service and maintenance contract with a trusted supplier to keep their oil water separator in good working condition.

When an oil water separator is sized correctly, is in place and working as designed, the trade waste will remain free from oil pollution and prevent the business from facing fines or shutdowns due to environmental concerns.

Talk to Cleanawater for expert oil water separator advice

Oil water separators keep the environment free from oil pollution and all its damaging effects on plants and animals. This equipment also helps businesses to maintain their compliance with local water authorities and prevent fines and shutdowns.

Contact us to find out more about our oil water separator solutions for your application.