The resulting discharges from all the wastewater collected, domestic and industrial, is under the Clean Water Act regulation. Before operation, an oil and water separator system must be inspected to make sure it is properly designed and installed. This is one way of making sure that the treatment system will be able to handle the wastewater with oil content so that nothing contaminated will be able to enter the sanitary sewer or the storm sewer system. What operators should know is that the separator’s system is limited especially if the wastewater contains a rather unlikely higher oil concentration. In this case, it is crucial that the operators who discharge wastewater know this limitation and the function of the system. Failure in doing so might have a negative effect in the environment.
An oil and water separator system is a device designed to clear all the grease and oil content in the water discharges coming from industrial waste and storm water. This device uses many methods, physical and chemical, when separating such as filters, flotation, gravity separation, flocculation or coagulation. Different types of oil and grease in the mixture also dictates the separation process to be used. The most common system used for separation by the Air Force is the gravity separation. It is mainly used to separate petroleum content in the water. Any solid contaminant that settles at the bottom is removed only when the tank is emptied for maintenance.
It is illegal to dispose any sludge or liquid waste in the drain that is attached to a separator system because these wastes could be discharged into the sewer system. In cases when the system cannot completely remove all the traces of oil content in the wastewater and meet the regulation, a coalescing separator (gravity type of system but enhanced) is utilized to achiever a higher efficiency in separation.
Prevention methods must be done in order to avoid any instances where the environment could be harmed. This is made possible by eliminating or modifying any activities that could cause any harmful pollution. For many industries, this could mean modifications or changes in the processes so a separator system would not be a necessity. Wet processes could be changed into dry processes thereby eliminating the need for floor drains and prevent any cases of contaminants getting into the wastewater stream. If a drain should be used, people working around it must make sure that it is protected from any spills such as non-petroleum contents or large amount of petroleum spills.