Keeping compliant with wastewater treatment in Australia

Cleanawater on 18 March 2020

Each company which discharges wastewater into the municipal system must comply with Australian regulations. Local water authorities are in charge of issuing permits for treated wastewater. They also monitor companies for compliance.

To acquire a permit, a company must meet certain conditions, such as removing pollutants before discharging wastewater. This protects downstream wastewater treatment plants as well as the environment.

Cleanawater supplies treatment solutions that help companies with their wastewater compliance. Find out more about our services and solutions here.

Oil Water Separators

The presence of hydrocarbons in wastewater is a common challenge for many companies. Mining and industrial companies, workshops, service stations, and wash bays all have the potential to generate wastewater contaminated by oil.

Oil water separators are designed to remove oil from wastewater before discharge. They work on the principle that oil droplets stick together and rise to the water surface under the right conditions. Once the oil settles at the top of a separator, it is removed for disposal. A water outlet located at the bottom of the separator allows for the discharge of oil-free wastewater.

Types of oil water separators

Cleanawater offers both Coalescing Plate and Vertical Gravity oil water separators (VGS). A VGS has a capacity of 700 to 3,000 litres per hour. It can reduce the oil content in wastewater to 50 parts per million (ppm). A VGS is small, so it can even be fitted inside a commercial kitchen. Coalescing plate separators tend to be bigger and more efficient. They range in capacity from 1,000 to 50,000 litres per hour and reduce oil content to 10 ppm.

Wash Bays

Many companies wash vehicles and equipment, but not all are aware of the impact wash down water can have on wastewater. Contaminants from a washed vehicle or part are carried away in the water. Wash down water should never enter the stormwater system because there is no downstream processing. Any pollutants are released directly into the environment.

Wash bays capture wastewater from washing for processing before discharge. Some of the industries which would benefit from a formal wash bay solution are:

  • Industrial
  • Workshops
  • Service stations
  • Car washes
  • Transport
  • Quarantine
  • Mining

Types of wash bay

Cleanawater supplies both permanent and portable wash bay solutions. We retrofit to existing installations or custom-build for new installations. Our quarantine wash bays are designed to meet the Australian Quarantine Inspection Services (AQIS) regulations. AQIS wash bays are suitable for import/export, container handling or airline food waste applications.

Dealing with rainwater

Wash bay solutions must protect the wastewater sewer network from rainwater. Downstream treatment plants are not sized to cope with these high volumes of clean water. One way to overcome this challenge is by covering wash bays with a roof. Rainwater falling on the roof is routed directly to stormwater sewers.

Another solution is a first flush diverter. The first 10 mm of rainfall is considered sufficient to flush contaminants from a wash bay surface. This "first flush" is routed to the wastewater system for treatment. Any additional rainfall is diverted to a stormwater sewer.

Water Recycling Systems

According to a recent article in National Geographic, Australia is on the brink of a water crisis. Sustainable practices are essential for the protection of our water resources. Water recycling systems play an important part in this by reducing water consumption. Commercial companies such as automotive workshops, vehicle wash down bays, car washes, and service stations can benefit from water recycling systems.

Rainwater harvesting

Harvesting rainwater is the simplest solution for reducing water consumption. Storage tanks collect rainwater from buildings. This can be increased by roofing car parks and wash bays. Cleanawater offers above ground or below ground storage in the range from 1,000 to 1,000,000-plus litres. These systems offer immediate benefits as harvested rainwater replaces mains water consumption.

Water recycling

Water recycling systems capture wastewater, clean it and reuse it on site. They are more complex than rainwater harvesting, but they offer more benefits too. Local water authorities charge companies for discharging wastewater. So, reducing wastewater volumes has a direct impact on operating costs.

Reusing water also reduces the need for mains water supply. Once again, water consumption drops and operating costs as well. Cleanawater has the technical expertise to investigate your site conditions and come up with the best solution for your unique needs. Our systems have a recycle rate of 80 to 90 per cent.

Talk to Cleanawater for expert advice

We have more than 20-years experience in the Australian context. Our technical experts can help you meet your compliance requirements and therefore protect the environment. Contact us to find out more about our wastewater treatment solutions.