Solving Oil Water Separator Problems

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Airport Oil Water Separators Designs & Specifications

Airport Oil Water Separators

Environmental regulation of oil in water discharges is increasingly becoming more stringent; consequently airport oil water separators specification and design is increasing more complicated.

Airport Oil Water Separators

Airport oil water separators possible applications for coalescing plate separators include fuel farm stormwater, fueling trucks, fueling aprons, and vehicle maintenance operations. For fuel farm stormwater and fueling aprons, oil water separators must treat contaminated water before discharged to surface waters, thus meeting the “no sheen” requirement of the Clean Water Act. Sewer facility authorities require prior permission because of required permits governing effluent water to surrounding lakes and rivers.

Clean Water Act (CWA)

Clean Water Act (CWA) governs oil in water discharges. While CWA primarily controls discharges from Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs or sanitary sewer plants) and toxic discharges from industrial plants, it also governs petroleum and other hydrocarbons discharges into United States’ waters. Any discharges other than those covered by the permit are illegal.

Contamination Sources


Many airport facilities experience process water (stormwater or wastewater) contamination from oil Removing the oil before returning the water into the process cycle is a must. Most of this contamination comes from leaking jet fuel tank spills associated with airport fueling stations, airport storage tanks, and airport vehicle maintenance operations. The rainwater mixing with oil collects in containment basins often contains small amounts of hydrocarbons.

Truck Filling Areas

Airport truck filling areas have the potential for some oil leakage from the piping, some leakage from the truck itself, and the chance of a spill if there are problems with the trucks. Jet fuel leaks and drips of hydraulic oil are linked to airport fueling apron stations. Although they are minimal, they can still occur and have negative affects on the surrounding environment.

Most airports will have vehicle maintenance facilities for ramp vehicles, fire equipment, and other vehicles needed for operation. Many will also have rental car maintenance facilities. MSR HE-Plate multiple angle separators designs handle the water from any onsite vehicle maintenance and airport parking lots. the cost effective MSR gravity operated green technology requires very little maintenance and is both efficient and sustainable.

Above Ground Oil Water Separators vs
Below Ground Oil Water Separators

Airport oil watery separators use either above ground or below ground separators. Separator vaults are typically composed of metal, concrete, or even plastic. Retrofitted systems use MSR media installed in modified frames. MSR offers both equipment and design suggestions for safe effective treatment of water from airport facilities.

Preparing for the Future

Ever sticker environmental regulations dictate more cost-effective and reliable methods for oil in water removal that produces lower concentrations of hydrocarbons in effluent water. Replace inadequate API type systems are inadequate with MSR HE-Plate multiple angle separators. Ensure effluent water quality meets or exceeds the requirements for federal, state, and local regulations. These specially designed and proven systems provide sustainability under difficult conditions while continually offering benefits for airport facility operations.

Download the full paper on airport oil water separators specifications and design.