3 Ways to Generate Less Contaminated Water on Construction Sites

© Green Rhino | 16 Oct 2020

Bund with rainwater insideWhen it rains, water starts to pool in excavations, bunds and spill trays. If the water is contaminated with hydrocarbons, you then have a high volume of waste water on your hands which needs to be disposed of. This needlessly increases your environmental impact as well as your hazardous waste disposal costs. 

Here, we look at three scenarios in which you can reduce the volume of waste you generate using low-cost and highly effective solutions.

Rain-filled Spill Trays

Spill containment products which allow rainwater to accumulate have to be emptied on a regular basis. The water inside becomes contaminated with the oil or fuel captured by the tray or absorbent lining. This generates litres of hazardous waste that needs to be disposed of responsibly. This can present a practical challenge for operatives and often results in the contaminated water being emptied out onto the ground.

EnviroPadWith Green Rhino’s EnviroPad® no waste water is generated. This innovative spill pad contains a smart polymer which solidifies oil and fuel, trapping it inside. Rainwater runs through or off the surface uncontaminated by the solidified pollutants. It can be left outside in all weathers, allowed to drain before storage, and jet washed when dirty without risk of polluting the environment. (See how our smart polymer technology works in the video below.)

What's more, this superior performance costs less than products like Plant Nappy.   Book a site demo

Click here to see EnviroPad® on the Considerate Constructors Best Practice Hub.

Rain-filled Bunds & Tanks

In a similar manner, contaminated bunds – such as fuel storage areas – can also fill with rainwater and need to be emptied before overflowing. The usual recourse here is to call in a vacuum tanker which can cost around a £1,000 per visit. Over a wet autumn and winter, you can rack up significant costs. In addition, you have the risk that the bund overflows before it can be emptied.  

Green Rhino’s Oil Removal Cartridges solve the problem. Fitted to a drainage outlet in the wall of the bund or tank, they filter out hydrocarbon contaminants, as well as sediment, while allowing the cleaned rainwater to discharge into the environment.

Oil Removal CartridgeLike EnviroPad, the cartridges contain our proprietary smart polymer which solidifies oil and fuel so that it can’t leak out.

Once all the smart polymer has been activated, flow is blocked until the cartridge is replaced. This also ensures that the cartridge shuts off in the event of a high volume spillage into the bund.

Cartridges are available with different capacities and prices start around £250 per unit.   Book a site demo

Green Rhino Oil Removal Cartridges are listed on the Considerate Constructors Best Practice Hub. Submitted by Volker FitzPatrick citing a ‘significant reduction in waste disposal costs.’

Water-filled Excavations

Flooded excavations can be a frustrating source of delays on construction projects. When the water in an excavation is contaminated with oil or fuel it must be removed with due care to the environment. The expensive course of action is to book a vacuum tanker and this also creates hundreds if not thousands of litres of waste water which needs to be processed.

Oil & Sediment Dewatering FilterA greener and cheaper alternative is to clean the water first and then pump it out through a Green Rhino Oil & Sediment Dewatering Filter.   Book a site demo

To clean the water, you might reach for absorbent cushions or pillows. These will soak up oil and fuel but have a major disadvantage: absorbents do not retain pollutants permanently. Lift an absorbent pillow out of the water and polluted water will drain out of it – making it difficult to clean the water completely. It also makes it difficult to dispose of the pillow without further leakage or without having to place it in a plastic bag.

Green Rhino’s smart polymer-based Oil Retention Pillows soak up and solidify contaminants. This means that only clean water drains out – in fact you can wring out the pillows without any leakage of the solidified pollutants.

Quick Response Dewatering PackOnce the water in the excavation has been cleaned, it can be pumped through a Green Rhino Oil & Sediment Filter which will filter out sediment and any last vestiges of hydrocarbon contamination.

We've packaged together everything you need for fast, effective dewatering in the Green Rhino Quick Response Dewatering Pack which includes an Oil & Sediment Filter, five Oil Retention Pillows and a pack of 100 Oil Detection Strips.

See our Best Practice Guide to Dewatering Excavations for more advice.

Take the next step

Book a site demo and we’ll show you how our smart polymer converts oil and fuel into solid rubber. It’s a very popular demonstration which never fails to convert and helps to engage site operatives with your spill control measures. We'll also demonstrate how our range of products can reduce risks across your sites.

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