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Important Tips For Aqueous Cleaning At Automotive Centers

Monday, June 6th, 2016

It’s important to have an effective cleaning method for your automotive facility. You need a solution that is non-toxic, thoroughly cleans and easy to dispose of. This article will go over important facts for managing your automotive center for aqueous cleaning

Disposal Regulations 

There are a couple options for waste disposal and one people are not aware may be illegal. 

  1. Disposal Center- The best way to dispose of aqueous waste is to utilize waste disposal centers. Since aqueous solutions are less toxic than petroleum, the cost also decreases significantly. Furthermore, utilizing a licensed vendor reduces your liability and ensures that the waste is properly disposed. Vendors allow for more disposal management options for all sorts of aqueous waste disposal.  
  2. Sewer System- According to ECAR Center,You will need to obtain a permit or written permission to discharge aqueous disposal into your local sewer system and you must follow any local rules that apply. You will also have to follow certain federal and state rules. These rules may or may not be stated in your permit. 
  3. Illegal Disposal-You cannot just dispose of aqueous waste. It is illegal to dispose of any parts washer solutions into drywells, onsite septic systems, storm drains, or onto the ground. Even though aqueous cleaning is safer and easier to dispose of, you still need to appropriately manage the waste disposal. Improperly disposing may contaminate your septic tank or drain field and disrupt the normal biological processes in a working system, which may result in costly system failure. It’s important that waste is disposed in the proper way. 

Inspecting Your Facility

According to ECAR center, it’s important to do a “self-audit” checklist to make sure your automotive facility is managed correctly. Here are some items, provided by ECAR Center, that should be on your checklist:

  1. Are the sludges generated by cleanout of sumps and similar devices associated with aqueous cleaning properly managed and disposed of? Perform a hazardous waste determination for these wastes. If they are found to be hazardous, you must manage them on-site according to hazardous waste rules and dispose of them at an approved facility.
  2. Does your facility discharge wastewater from aqueous cleaning? Are the discharges authorized by a permit?Check all uses of water and steam. Determine where wastewater is generated and discharged. You must have a permit or written authorization for all industrial wastewater discharges. Be certain that floor drains and sinks do not discharge to the ground, a septic tank, a storm sewer or a waterway. 
  3. Determine whether the aqueous cleaning solution discharge will be accepted by the local sewage treatment plant. Obtain all required permits or approvals prior to discharge.
  4. If discharge to a sewage plant is not allowed, arrange to recycle and reuse the solution, or properly dispose of the solution. You may need to test the solution to determine whether it is a hazardous waste.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

So what is the best way to manage your facility? Check out some of the bullets below provided by ECAR Center to best manage your automotive facility. 

  • Install cleaning equipment that efficiently uses water or is capable of recycling water.
  • Install an on-site capture and reuse system for wastewater. These are commonly used by auto recycling facilities in association with pressure washers and enclosed spray washers. 
  • Remove caked-on grease and oil from parts with a scraper or knife before aqueous cleaning to reduce cleaning time and water usage.
  • Conduct cleaning operations on a contained or indoor impervious surface.
  • Do not dispose of used cleaning solution on the ground or into a storm drain.

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