The automotive industry, including automotive manufacturing facilities use a large amount of oil based products, paints and synthetic fluids as a part of their manufacturing or service process. This results in oily waste water with hydrocarbons and metal content. Regulations from large plants to smaller mechanical workshops include stringent trade waste regulations and therefore wastewater treatment is a big part of the car industry.
Contents of Wastewater Produced by the Automotive Industry
In the car manufacturing industry, water is used for surface treatment, coating, washing, rinsing, paint spray booths, hosing, cooling air-conditioning systems and boilers, all producing large amounts of wastewater.
In related industries such as car wash, car detailing, mechanical workshops, panel beaters, automotive dismantlers, and even service stations produce trade waste that requires on site pre-treatment so that it can be discharged, according to council compliance.
Some of the common pollutants as found in the wastewater across various types of businesses within this industry are:
Fats, Oil, Grease (FOG), and Hydrocarbons: Generally, FOG is controlled by pre-treatment at source. This usually requires a Solids Interceptor Oil Separator (SIOS) to treat before discharge.
Flammable Liquids: Flammable or volatile liquids can cause fires or explosions in the sewerage systems and therefore they cannot be present in discharge water. Runoff from service stations is usually not permitted to sewer, unless treated. Again, Solids Interceptor Oil Separator (SIOS) can be used for treatment.
Suspended Solids: Suspended Solids can cause silting within sewers and pump stations, leading to blockages and overflows. Pre-treatment to separate solids from the wastewater is required before water is discharged to sewer.
Coolant and Radiator Fluid: Coolant and radiator fluid have a high concentration of hydrocarbons (glycol) and therefore has to be removed from the wastewater before entering the sewer.
Car or equipment washes: Waste water from any vehicle wash or equipment wash facilities contain suspended solids and hydrocarbons and therefore need oil water separator for pre-treatment.
The Benefits of Treating and Recycling Water
There are strict council regulations in place for the car industry for discharge to sewerage system in order to protect the environment. The wastewater has to be processed and treated to comply to these regulations.
Moreover, the true cost of water use is often misunderstood resulting in poor management. The common perception is that water is cheap making it hard to justify conservation and recycling measures. What is important to understand is that automotive manufacturing processes need decarbonated industrial water, fresh or recycled demineralised water. Car wash and equipment wash also require high quality water. Therefore, there are significant long term benefits to using water more effectively in the automotive industry by recycling the water for reuse.
Enviro Concepts Pre-Treatment Solutions
Enviro Concepts provides wastewater treatment and recycling processes for the automotive industry. Some of the processes include:
- Solids Interceptor Oil Separator system (SIOS and OWS)
- Media filtration (link to DBMF)
- Clarification processes using Lamella Clarifier and Dissolved Air Flotation system
- Water softening process (Ion Exchange and Reverse Osmosis)
If you are thinking of wastewater treatment solutions for your facility, click on the link below for a FREE ESTIMATE.