7.03.2017

Inefficient Wheel Wash Problem Solved

Local planning consents and highways regulations mean that vehicles alighting onto the public highway from industrial sites have to be clean, thus preventing the road surface from becoming dirty and potentially unsafe. Failure to comply with the regulations can lead to prosecution meaning fines and the additional cost of cleaning the road surface for the site operator/owner.

A mining/quarry company contacted SNF as they were encountering problems with the performance of their wheel wash. The volume of traffic using the wheel wash was such that the silt washed off the vehicles did not have sufficient time to settle before being re-circulated, therefore leading to the vehicles being washed in dirty water. This led them to have to hire in additional road sweepers, at significant cost, to maintain the cleanliness of the public highway. Restricting the number of vehicle movements over the wheel wash would mean significant potential loss of revenues due to not be able to get saleable product off site as planned.

Solution
Subsequent to a site visit by a member of SNF Technical Team it was recommended that the addition of a specifically chosen flocculant block to the wheel wash would significantly improve the settlement of the silt washed from the vehicles. This allowed the wheel wash to operate with clean water for a longer period of time; allowing all vehicles to exit site in the required, clean condition.

The flocculant block, when positioned correctly as advised by SNF, slowly dissolves directly into the effluent flow and flocculates the associated suspended solids. The flocculated solids settle more rapidly, resulting in cleaner water and extending the time required before the wheel wash has to be de-silted. This had an immediate impact for the client with increased utilization of the wheel wash whilst maintaining clean road surfaces at the exit of the quarry.

Result
The client was completely satisfied with the results from the trial and now utilises flocculant blocks on site. The efficiency of the wheel wash is marked and the plant runs much more effectively due to reduction in downtime, as well as saving money on road cleaners and fines.

Please contact SNF for further information.

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