An Oil and water separator is used as a way to separate and remove oil from surface water and they are most usually found in industrial areas where oil is likely to be mixed with wastewater. (For example, oil and water separation systems may be used in any area where vehicle, heavy machinery, ship & aircraft maintenance are carried out).
Because surface water is ultimately discharged into the water course, via drains and soakaways, the oil must be removed to prevent pollution & contamination of the water course. This is regulated by the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Parallel Plate Separator
Currently the most common type of oil and water separator in use in the UK. They work using the same principals as an API separator but also contain tilted parallel packs (or parallel plates) which increase the available surface area for oil droplets to form and coalesce into large globules.
These oil/water separators have several advantages over conventional separators, including increased performance and efficiency. Parallel plate separators have the ability to remove small oil droplets from the water, which reduces the time needed to further purify the remaining water after separation. The parallel plate design requires less space than conventional designs to produce the same level of separation.
Above Or Below Ground?
Oil and water separators can be below ground or above ground installations. Below ground installations take up less space and for this reason are usually the most popular. However, there are some issues associated with this design, for instance it is harder to spot leaks and can be harder to clean up as the installation is underground. These installations are generally more discrete, so it can be easy forget to arrange regular maintenance, which is essential to the long-term functionality of the oil-water separator. Above ground oil and water separator installation is usually easier to maintain and is more visible, making leaks easier to spot and address.
We can make sure that oil /water separators are kept in top condition by regular cleaning & maintenance. We are an oil water separator company based in Hampshire and cover the South of England.
Call RMS Waste, your oil and water separator company now on 0845 873 6620. You can find out more about us and our oil water separators on our site.
How Does It Work?
Oil and water separators provide an efficient means of treating the polluted surface water, separating the oily part and allowing the water to drain to the water course in accordance with CWA requirements; helping to reduce your oily water disposal costs.
The design of the oil/water separator takes advantage of the specific gravity difference between the oil and the waste water. The less dense oil rises to the surface, the solid material, being denser sinks to the bottom and the wastewater will occupy the middle layer. With the oil globules now on the surface, it can be skimmed off, ready to be re-used or disposed of. The water in the middle layer can then be removed and further purified, to remove any residue oil and any harmful chemical elements. The sediments that form a sludge at the bottom of the tank can be scraped and pumped out.
However, even with an oil/water separator in place, pollution can still occur, if high levels of silt and sludge are not dealt with or if safety devices become blocked. The fall-out from pollution is devastating for a business; not least the environmental impact, but also the negative publicity and inevitable fines and legal action.