Waste Water Treatment with Oil and Water Separators
There are many instances in industry where oil and water mix together and must be separated. This is usually so that the oil can be taken out and reused and the water can be cleansed to prevent pollution of the environment when it is released. Very often there is also undissolved waste particle matter in the mix of oil and water and this must also be removed. This process is done with oil and water separators of various kinds.
Generally, the mixture is pumped into a holding tank where the oil rises to the surface and can be skimmed off, and the sludge sinks to the bottom and can be removed by some form of scraping apparatus. The water can then be pumped out of the tank and taken away for further treatment, since it could still contain contaminants that have dissolved and mixed in with it, as well as small amounts of oil that escaped the skimming process. This type of separator makes use of the force of gravity.
Once the water is cleaned properly it can be re-used or released into dams where it will evaporate or seep through to the environment. Seepage is not a problem when the water is properly cleansed. It may even be pumped out into the surrounding areas or waterways.
The main thing is to ensure that the oily water seperator used for separation is of the right type and size to do the job of cleaning the water properly, so that no oil or sludge can get into the environment or the waterways. If it is not, then major environmental damage can be caused and this not only affects the soil and water, but plants, animals and even humans in the long run.
There are many different types of machinery to do this job, apart from those that depend on gravity. There is an oil separator system that relies on fast spinning to separate the different types of fluid. In its simplest form this was seen in old time dairies where full cream milk was run through a separator and the cream came out one spout while the skimmed milk emerged from another one.
Such machines were quite small and if there was no electricity had to be operated by rotating a handle. This was a back-breaking task as the high speed necessary had to be kept up until the large vat full of milk had been run through. Of course these days such machines are much larger and powered by electricity so there is little manual labour required. And of course they are no longer found in dairies, but in other industries where there is the need to separate not only cream from milk, but oil from water.
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