4 Ways Oil Skimming Addresses Environmental Concerns


oil spill cleanupOrganizations are increasingly focused on reducing their environmental footprint and making the best use of our planet’s limited resources.

Removing oil from process and wastewater helps your company employ cleaner operations, conserve water and reduce pollutants in the water.

Read on for four ways oil skimming addresses environmental concerns.

1. Water Conservation

Fresh, clean water is an increasingly limited resource that needs to be used responsibly. While water has historically been plentiful in the United States, the U.S. Government and Accountability Office (GAO) predicts that by 2024, 40 out of the 50 states will face water shortages. The need for water conservation is real, and oil skimming is one way to help.

If oil is skimmed close to its point of origin, process water can often be conserved and re-used before it is discharged into the waste stream, thus reducing the overall amount of fresh water required for manufacturing, cooling or washing.

Removing oil in order to re-use water also has an economic benefit, as it reduces your water consumption costs and may qualify you for city/state tax incentives or rebates designed to encourage smart water use.

2. Oil Recycling

Similarly, if removed early, the oil itself can often be recycled—either for reuse in your own processes or sold to others for a profit. Biodiesel, soap and animal food manufacturers are just a few industries that purchase used oil.

One heavy equipment dealer was able to retrieve 465 gallons of recyclable oil monthly by implementing a tube-type skimmer that removed oil from wash water.

Recycling oil saves energy and resources. Refining used oil takes only about one-third the energy of refining new crude oil to create lubricant quality oil, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And, only one gallon of used oil is required to produce two quarts of lubricating oil compared to 42 gallons of crude oil.

3. Effective Wastewater Treatment

Established federal and local environmental guidelines dictate that wastewater combined with contaminants (oil, grease, fats, etc.) must be cleaned before it can be returned to the municipal sewer system.

Failure to comply can result in the loss of operating permits for your business and the release of pollutants into our public waterways.

Oil skimming can help your organization meet and exceed these environmental standards and regulations. As evidence, once oil skimmers were in place, one petroleum specialty products distributor reduced the amount of oil in its wastewater by about 99%, helping it meet required state compliance thresholds the next month of testing.

In addition to be being an effective option, oil skimming is also cost friendly, enabling your organization to meet requirements while still maintaining profitable operations.

4. Oil Spill Readiness and Cleanup

Water pollution can negatively affect marine ecosystems, putting flora, fauna and wildlife at risk, but oil skimmers can be used to remove oil or fuel in industrial plants to preclude it from ever reaching open waterways—helping to keep our bodies of water clean of contaminants. Oil spills and leaks can occur in contained areas at industrial plants, not just in open water. 

In the event of an oil spill, and the need to remove large quantities of oil in a limited amount of time, 3F Series Floating Weir skimmers provide a solution. These skimmers can be set up and deployed easily by one person – a distinct advantage when fast spill response is required.

In certain marine applications, Brill® tube-type skimmers can be mounted to water vessels to clean inland waterways, marshes, tidelands, harbors, marinas and other areas where water turbulence is low. In other applications, mobile extended reach systems will allow oil to be removed safely from shore. These systems feature a balanced boom to position the oil skimmer out over the oil and can be moved easily from one location to another.

Oil Skimming Is an Eco-Friendly Choice

Skimming is an effective and green option for removing oil from water. Interested in becoming more environmentally responsible? Contact us today to learn how.

Image Source: ArtBrom

Topics: oil skimming

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