Oil Water Separators 101: Back to The Basics
An oil water separator (OWS) is a flow thru device for removing smaller amounts of oil from larger amounts of water in a moving stream of water.
When to use an OWS?
Usually when you have relatively small amounts of free and un-emulsified oil in your waste-water that is not available to be skimmed.
From rain water or surface water that is draining off of an area that has possible existing oil contamination, such as large parking lots, refinery facilities, steel mills or other areas where historically there has already been or has great possibility of future accidental oil getting on the ground.
Intentional oil storage areas like diked in secondary containment area around oil fuel storage tanks (tank farm?) or where equipment is located with oil or fuel leak potential.
The key reason to use the OWS in these situations is because you don't have any or not enough oily water storage capability or containment so you have to remove the oil from the water as it's being moved. The OWS acts as an insurance policy to prevent discharging oil into the environment.
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