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Oil Water Separator Maintenance

September 21, 2015 | Posted in Oil Water Separators

Whether aboveground or underground, it is crucially important to keep your oil water separator clean and well-maintained to ensure its proper functioning. When units are not properly drained and cleaned at regular intervals, they can quickly become clogged with oil and miscellaneous debris which can ruin your machine. It can also create a higher level of oil being released in the water, going beyond the indicated effluency limits. Learn everything you need to know about oil water separator maintenance below.

oil water separator aboveground

Oil Water Separator Maintenance

Aboveground oil water separators are generally easier to keep clean simply because they are more accessible than underground models. A skilled technician will be able to maintain them from ground-level, plates are easily removed, and there are no tight spaces to navigate. Solid waste can also be easily removed by using the large opening these units provide at ground level.

If you have an underground oil water separator, the maintenance is much more tricky and it is incredibly important that you adhere to a strict maintenance schedule performed by a qualified technician. Since the unit is underground it is easy to forget about maintenance but this can be a very expensive mistake so it is wise to schedule regular maintenance visits.

After the first month of use, your oil water separator’s inlet area must be cleaned. Here’s what your maintenance provider will do:
Shut off the unit’s influent water
Open the cover
Carefully remove any visible oil and dispose of it in a safe manner
Measure the level of leftover solids and make a note of the depth. This will provide a benchmark for future maintenance and cleanings
Dispose of solids, if needed

After completing this task they will have to clean the media plates. They may simply clean them inside the unit by gently hosing them off with a low-pressure hose. Or your technician may prefer to remove them, in which case they will very carefully remove oil buildup and sludge using a gentle hose. It is very important to ensure that no discharge comes into contact with the ground where it could contaminate groundwater so this job should be left to a professional. After completing this task, they will inspect your tank to ensure there are no signs of damage and they may repair the internal coating if it is deemed necessary. The plates will then be put back into place.

Once this has been completed, be sure to schedule regular oil water separator maintenance for your unit to ensure proper functioning.

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