Oil Water Separators
An oil water separator is a simple device used by many different facilities to do exactly what its name implies – separate oil from water. Such work can often be very difficult to accomplish when a company or facility is dealing with huge amounts of water. This water needs to be treated in order to allow it to be disposed of back into the water system and oil is often a dangerous toxin that is not only hard on the environment, but prohibited by law from being disposed of in the same manner as the water. These devices ensure that the water is safe to a certain degree to be returned to the water system and that the oil and other material is carefully removed in order to be treated in its own safe manner.
Large manufacturers as well as government facilities often use these devices. They are necessary for many types of manufacturing processes such as oil refining or natural gas production, which use both involve the production of oil products that require the use of water in these processes for various reasons. This can lead to many thousands of gallons of water that are filled with not only oil, but also other industrial by products that are dangerous. In addition to such facilities, large scale operations like airports or military facilities often use these machines to handle wastewater that contains oil from cleaning aircraft or other activities. These may be much less oil than what would be seen in manufacturing facilities, but they are still necessary to keep people and the environment safe.
These devices are simple in principle, but much more complex in practice. Essentially, these devices will separate water from other materials like oil that are suspended throughout through the use of gravity. According to physical laws, the differences in weights and viscosities of water will cause oil and similar materials suspended in water to either float to the top of the surface of the water or settle to the bottom of the container holding it. Using this simple idea, large amounts of water can be rested and then machinery can be used to skim oil off the top and retrieve waste from the bottom of the water.
This process requires carefully tuned and maintained machinery however. Hazardous material must be collected, but it also cannot be disturbed either, causing the whole process to be repeated in order to ensure complete cleansing.