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Source Reduction in the Paint/Adhesive Industry:Wastewater



    
    I do not wish to mention specific companies/contacts however there 
    are several areas inwhich wastewater reduction or potable water 
    demand reduction may be achieved.
    
    One company reduced water demand (partially close-looping a 
    system) by using wastewater treatment effluent in air scrubbers.  
    Scrubbers can use quite a bit of water over a year's time.
    
    Another facility achieved a sizable reduction in waste water 
    generation by using scrubber waste water as a water feed back into 
    the same process (again replacing the need for potable water and 
    saving on some raw material captured by the scrubber).
    
    Cleaning reaction vessels (in adhesive production)(I would think 
    there is a parallel to the paint industry) can be a major source 
    of wastewater (or spent solvent or spent corrosive) generation.  
    The use of "standard operating procedures" not only insures a 
    quality product, but may also insure that a minimum of waste is 
    generated in the cleaning process.  Comparing waste generation 
    between operators or crews performing the same task, or between 
    work shifts, or between supervisors, may often reveal 
    significantly different levels of waste generation while 
    maintaining the same level of production.
    
    Cleaning the general work area may be another source of wastewater 
    generation.  Are water hoses used rather than a mop and bucket or 
    squeegee?  Are the hoses left leaking or do fixtures leak?  Again, 
    operators left to their own methods will perform differently and 
    not generally worry about minimizing waste.  Facility maintenance 
    practices may either add to the problem or make matters worse.
    
    Possibly the facility (mentioned in the original message) already 
    implements a sound p2 program and simply does not realize just how 
    efficiently they may already operate.  Have they ever compared the 
    ratio of "unit of waste to unit of production" or determined the 
    "cost of unit waste per unit production" and compared to other 
    similar facilities (or a sister facility if possible)?
    
    Occasionally a seasoned work force performs very conscientiously.  
    If the facility manager doesn't look for or believe there may be 
    opportunities to improve (I'll see it when I believe it" attitude) 
    reality may hit pretty hard one day soon ("I'll believe it when I 
    see it" attitude, which may be too late).
    
    Energy efficiency may be another avenue inwhich a p2 point may be 
    initially made.  If the facility has room for E2 improvements in 
    lighting, motors (reportedly accounts for over one half of 
    electricity used in the USA), or HVAC, improved payback times on 
    E2 projects may catch the interest of management.  Their buy-in 
    for any project will most likely be focused on $$$$$$ and not 
    preventing pollution.
    
    Ric
    illig.richard@a1.dep.state.pa.us