Throughout the United States’ economic ups and downs, the railroad industry has always delivered, and today it remains an essential component in the country’s multi-mode freight-delivery system. Cleveland, OH-based Oil Skimmers, Inc. has been a supplier to the railroad industry for more than 50 years, providing solutions for the removal of waste fuel from process wastewater and groundwater run-off.
Today, railroad companies are among the world’s most environmentally conscious transportation businesses. Several important investments helped to achieve this status, including more fuel-efficient locomotives, information technology systems that improve communication and planning, and better management of waste, including wastewater. At hundreds of railroad yards around the world, Oil Skimmer systems are at work removing petroleum residue from collected washwater and groundwater run-off before it enters public sewer systems. The affordable, long-lasting line of systems from Oil Skimmers help railroads to keep essential freight moving to consumers and businesses, while preventing contamination of vital water resources.
U.S. railroad yards serve hundreds of locomotives a day, filling them with thousands of gallons of diesel fuel at a time. Spilled fuel, process run-off water, and used oil collect in a catch basin and mix with rainwater run-off, which could also contain oil waste. The petroleum residue must be removed as part of the wastewater treatment that prepares the fluid to be discharged into a public sewer system.
Customers have told Oil Skimmers that other types of skimmers (belt, oating, wire, etc.) simply don’t remove enough oil. Other types of skimmers also have difficulty removing oil when debris is present, and they require increasing levels of maintenance.
The various Oil Skimmer Systems from use a specially-formulated collector tube that snakes around debris. These oil skimmers can operate 24/7 with no supervision, and require very little maintenance. Removing as much oil as possible is important to railroad-yard management because — in addition to protecting the environment — it keeps other water treatment equipment, such as filtration systems and oil water separators, running smoothly and efficiently.
“When you are filling up your car, you might splash a little bit of fuel on the ground. When you are dispensing up to 5,000 gallons of fuel at a time, and you spill some, it’s more than a splash,” explained one yard manager. “The catch basin catches the spill, and then when it rains, the run-off goes through the skimmer. We don’t want to put any of it into the environment.”
For decades railroad yards have been using the full line of Oil Skimmers, systems to remove oil from wastewater before disposal. These include the Model 6V Oil Skimmer, Model 5H Oil Skimmer, and the Oil Removal Transfer System. On average, these systems last 30 years.
An Oil Skimmers, Inc. system uses a unique floating-tube system. The closed-loop tube —made of flexible, specially formulated plastic — attracts oil but not water. The unit continuously draws the oil-covered tube through scrapers (which remove the oil) and returns the clean tube to the water surface to gather more oil.
Unlike other solutions, Oil Skimmers, Inc. can custom-fit installations, according to Jim Petrucci, Oil Skimmers’ vice president, and the company gives personalized service to each customer.
“You aren’t picking out something from a catalogue. We can adapt, modify, or even build from scratch.”