Achieving Compliance at Minimal Cost: Innovative Water Management Solution by Environmental Efficiency

An engineering company in the west of Ireland was discharging process wash water to a stream running past the plant. This is of course illegal and company engaged consultants to propose a solution to enable compliance. The consultants suggested a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) with a capital cost of €50,000. In addition, a consent to discharge trade effluent would be required with on-going compliance costs.

Faced with these considerable costs, the engineering company asked Environmental Efficiency to review the discharge and proposed solution.

The discharge was generated from degreasing steel parts prior to spray painting. A water/detergent solution was used for this purpose. We noted that the actual volume of washings was small at less than 1,000 litres per day. We also noted that wet back spray booths were used when paint spraying the steel parts. This type of spray booth has a curtain of water to trap paint. A certain amount of water is lost in evaporation and this loss is made up with fresh water.

Environmental Efficiency proposed that the water loss from the wet back spray booths be made up from the wash water. This suggestion would eliminate the discharge to surface water and therefore achieve compliance at little cost. The engineering company trialled the system and following its success, the system was made permanent.

The proposed solution is typical of the creative approach of Environmental Efficiency that differentiates us from other consultants.


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