Solving Oil Water Separator Problems

Electric Utility Oil Water Separators Design & Specifications

Electric Utility Oil Water Separators

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

Electric Utility Oil Water Separators

Electric utility oil water separators have a number of applications for MSR HE-Plate multiple angle separators. These include hydroelectric facilities with leakage water or deluge systems, fossil fuel facilities with deluge systems, transformer stations, transformer storage and maintenance yards, and vehicle maintenance operations.

Facilities with water effluent streams flowing directly into lakes and rivers must have permits under the Clean Water Act. The other option of pretreatment before discharging to sanitary sewer facilities requires permission from the sewer facility authorities to discharge to the sanitary sewer because of laws governing discharging effluent water to surrounding lakes and rivers.

Clean Water Act (CWA)

The Clean Water Act (CWA) governs oil in water discharges. Although the 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 the United States waters.

Contamination Sources

Electric Utilities

Electric utility facilities oily water that must be processed regularly before discharge. Most of this contamination comes from leaking oil (in seals and bearings) and fuel spills associated with hydroelectric facilities, fossil fuel facilities, transformer stations and transformer storage and maintenance facilities, and vehicle maintenance operations. Remove oil from water before discharging from electric utilities. This avoids environmental and economical problems. While some electric utility facilities dedicated wastewater treatment equipment handles these function, most wastewater discharges into local sanitary sewers.


Hydroelectric Facilities

Hydroelectric facilities benefit from coalescing separators since water leakage and some lubricating oil leakage around turbine seals and bearings are inevitable. In hydroelectric dams, large hydraulic powered water control valves lubricated with different greases and oils may spill or leak. As a result,  water becomes contaminated requiring treatment (to remove the oil) before discharge.

Large transformer stations have water deluge systems for protection in case of transformer fires or transformer failures. These systems deliver large amounts of water depending on the severity of the event. It is not uncommon to have several thousand parts per million of oily water requiring treatment.

In the case of a spill, laboratory equipment provides 5000 parts per million of oil, present in the water, as a persistent assumption. Many transformer stations also utilize transformer oil (or insulation oil) for cooling purposes. Construction basins constructed around stations capture any leaked or spilled oil. Rainwater falling within these basins become contaminated.

Transformer storage and maintenance facilities  fire suppression systems “drown” fires. Many of these systems wash off burning oil into nearby waterways; consequently, resulting in penalties because hey are in violation of the Clean Water Act. Treat this discharge and stay compliant.

MSR Solutions

MSR often utilizes existing pits or structures for coalescing separators which minimizes costs, while meeting regulatory requirements. We provided HE-Plate multiple angle separators for hydroelectric dams with turbine leakage, firefighting water, and transformer stations (just to name a few). As with other applications, electric utility oil water separator systems come as above ground or below ground units, which we make from stainless steel, carbon steel, or almost any desired material.

Preparing for the Future

A more cost-effective and reliable method for oil in water removal is needed because environmental regulations continue to become stricter and require lower concentrations of hydrocarbons in effluent water. API type systems are inadequate to ensure proper treatment so it is necessary to utilize a high-efficiency system for oil removal. MSR HE-Plate coalescing separators ensure effluent water quality that meets or exceeds the requirements for federal, state, and local regulations. Specially designed proven systems are sustainable under difficult conditions and continue to be beneficial for electric utility facilities.

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