Assisting Wastewater and Water Treatment Plants with Hazardous Waste Removal
September 5, 2023

Pre-treating hazardous wastewater and handling some of the common waste streams in these facilities can become complicated. The technology involved in treating and disposing of this waste is rapidly developing in environmental engineering. This technology helps your facility create a management program for your hazardous wastewater. These forms of hazardous waste are strictly regulated by the RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency,) making it essential for your facility to comply with all codes and laws.

Hazardous waste removal from a wastewater and water treatment plant should be coordinated with a firm familiar with all published regulations and rules set forth by the above government agencies. Environmental Marketing Services has the experience in this industry to help you understand and follow all rules governing your hazardous waste removal and will help you learn the level of treatment required for your facility.

Types and Classification of Hazardous Waste Found at Water Treatment Plant

The EPA classifies hazardous waste as one with potentially harmful effects on human health or the environment. These waste materials can come from a number of sources, including laboratories, construction sites, and healthcare facilities, and can also be found at a water treatment plant. These materials can be found in various forms, such as sludges, gasses, liquids, and solids.

These are some of the waste streams commonly found during clean-outs at a wastewater and water treatment plant:
– Devices containing mercury
– COD vials
– Off-spec/out-of-date chemicals
– Legacy chemicals (chemicals left behind from previous employees)
– Cleaning solvents
– Sludge water from units
– Fluorescent lamps
– Painting waste

The Environmental Marketing Service understands how these materials can build up over time, as not all facilities are able to assign a specific employee to coordinate proper disposal methods. EMSLLC (Environmental Marketing Services), will help your facility with an initial clean-out for hazardous waste removal, and create a schedule for future waste pickups to prevent a build-up of these hazardous materials in the years to come.

Managing Hazardous Waste Materials in a Water Treatment Plant

Typically, a water treatment plant sends water-based wastes, such as oils, coolants, acids, paint, and bases through a special treatment process. The results of this process produce usable water extraction. Depending on the facility, hazardous waste management will look different due to the facility’s type of waste.
The special treatment process at a water treatment plant is to create reusable water to be used on-site or discharged into the environment.

These are the commonly used steps for a facility’s hazardous waste management:

Transportation

The steps begin with a hazardous waste disposal company transporting the hazardous waste to the treatment plant. When received by the water treatment plant, the waste will be inside tankers, drums, or totes. Typically an inspection and fingerprint analysis are conducted to identify the waste.

Neutralization

When the wastes are directed to the water treatment area, a chemical process called neutralization is performed on corrosive liquids. This process will adjust the pH levels of corrosive hazardous liquid wastes so they no longer meet the regulations of being corrosive material.

Treatment

Once neutralized, the third step involves moving the hazardous waste to the main treatment area where it will be separated, settled, flocculated, and filtered. To alter the composition of these hazardous materials, water treatment plants can use either oxidation or incineration.

– Incineration involves burning the materials at a high enough temperature to destroy all contaminants. An industrial furnace or incinerator is used for this process.
– Oxidation chemically converts the hazardous waste to non-hazardous compounds or less toxic. Some of the common oxidizing agents include hypochlorite, ozone, chlorine dioxide, and hydrogen peroxide.

Storage

Once a water treatment plant has treated hazardous wastewater, it will be stored in a tank or accumulation area. A ‘tank’ is a stationary device constructed of non-earthen materials, such as wood, steel, plastic, or concrete. The ‘tank’ must provide structural support to contain the waste.

An accumulation tank is used to temporarily store hazardous wastes until they can be disposed of properly. Tanks can also hold materials while they await the treatment process. Other hazardous waste units can include containers, drip pads, waste piles, containment buildings, or surface impoundments.

If your facility is unsure of the proper storage containers to use, talk to the experts at Environmental Marketing Services. EMSLLC welcomes the opportunity to be of service for any of your hazardous waste removal or other steps in the management of these materials.

Disposal

The final step, disposal, is when the treated wastewater is ready to be used on-site for hydraulic fracturing, cooling, or other uses. If your facility is not using the treated wastewater, it can be discharged back into the environment.

Any hazardous wastes generated by your facility, such COD vials, legacy chemicals, off-spec or outdated chemicals, devices containing mercury, or others listed above in this article, must be properly disposed of. Environmental Marketing Services can assist your facility in the proper handling and disposal of these materials.

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