Oil Water Separator Design Plan for Auto Repair Workshops

Enviro Concepts, Oil Water Separator

Oil water separators (OWS) are devices commonly used in treating wash down water in auto repair shops, car detailers, vehicle service stations, smash repairs or in any business that has large volumes of oily wastewater that needs to be processed to make it safe for discharge. The oil water separator (OWS) is used to remove oils and greases (and sometimes solids) from industrial waste streams.

Whether you have a small workshop or a large scale mining workshop facility, when evaluating an OWS, you can follow this simple step-by-step flow plan to assess and find the right system for your wastewater treatment.

A Simple 4-step process could include:

Step 1: What type of wastewater are you treating?

Step 2: Wastewater Compliance Evaluation

Step 3: Review the Design, Review Concerns & Create Process Flow

Step 4: Operation and Maintenance Plan

Step 1: What type of wastewater are you treating?

Trade waste is defined as liquid waste generated from any industry, business, or manufacturing process. Trade Waste from auto repair industry is usually generated by cleaning of engines, parts, vehicles and workshop floors. We often advise our standard washpad and SIOS (oil separator system). However, workshops need to think through their design flow so that we can offer a customised estimate and system design.

The first step is to understand what is in your wastewater. It may contain contaminants such as fuels, solvents, heavy metals, battery acids, hydrocarbons, caustic cleaners, paints, coolants, dirt and grime. A list of auto industry trade waste can be found on our automotive industry page.

Step 2: Wastewater Compliance Evaluation

Compliance and operation standards are regulated based on where the business or facility is located.  Depending on the type of trade waste produced by the business, water and council authorities will pose regulation to protect municipal equipment, and the environment. All businesses creating trade waste should apply for a trade waste approval.

Enviro Concepts Oil Water Separators are designed to help businesses meet their compliance needs. Our consultants discuss your workshop compliance requirements and propose a custom design. Solutions could range from improvements in design, operation and maintenance. Contact one of our experts if you want to discuss about compliance for your wash water treatment system.

mechanical workshop, oil water separator

Step 3: Review the Design, Review Concerns & Create Process Flow

If you are upgrading an older system or designing a new oil water separator system from scratch, the following list of factors should be considered:

  • Flow Rate: The effectiveness of an OWS in separating out the oil is increased by slower wastewater flow rates versus longer period of time that the wastewater remains in the separator. The sizing of the OWS depends on the flow rate.
  • Design Capacity: An OWS has upper limits to the amounts of oil and sludge that can effectively accumulate while the Oil Water Separator is in operation. Proper OWS design will ensure that the separator capacity is sized to meet the needs of the process.
  • Type of OWS: The category and the quantity of oil and contaminants in wash water determines the specific system to be used in the design. In light vehicle washes our Solids Interceptor Oil Separator (SIOS) system can be used but heavy vehicle washes that has high degree of suspended solids along with oil and grease, additional filtration may be needed. Detergents and soaps are designed to remove oil and grime from vehicles and equipment and are often used in auto repair workshops. If it’s present in the wastewater in high quantities, it can adversely affect the oil water separator. When soapy water enters the OWS, it takes significantly longer for the oil to separate from water and therefore requires a custom design. If the wash water is required to be recycled for reuse, the design will change again.
  • Suitability of the system to mission: Plan a wastewater treatment design with short term and long term mission in mind. For example, if you want to relocate within a couple of years, of if your site does not have fresh water supply or is not near the sewer system, you may have to bring these aspects into your design plan. Enviro Concepts provides, above ground, skid-mounted, complete OWS system (SIOS) with pump, float and tank. We take your requirements into consideration and make provisions for both short term and long term requirements for your business.

Step 4: Design and Maintenance

When planning your wastewater treatment plan, check the time, the costs and the process of installation and maintenance. The ability of the OWS to function properly depends on the timely performance of required service and maintenance. At Enviro Concepts, we always offer an installation, inspection and maintenance plan with every estimate that we create with our clients.

To enquire about your OWS project, connect with us.

We have created a free download with technical details of our SIOS (Solids Interceptor Oil Separator) process – Access it here.

washbay, wastewater, oil water separator