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Re: Dirty Mop Water



Mary,

A few more thoughts for you:

A first step that will help to minimize coolant and hydraulic oil leaks is to
implement a seals and gaskets maintenance program.  By doing this you are not
only reducing the amount of fluid that needs to be removed from the shop
floor, but you are also reducing the waste loading that the Yellow Bellied
Sump Sucker will be handling.  Leaking hydraulic oils often end up in the
coolant system as tramp oils that the Sump Sucker must then remove.

I would suggest suspending wet cleanup of any spills and leaks.  In areas
where there are reoccurring leaks or spills not corrected by the seals and
gaskets maintenance program, drip pans may be employed.  For other leaks or
spills, use absorbent pads or granular absorbent and perform dry cleanups.

You mentioned that the mop water was not treatable with the Sump Sucker due to
the accumulation of bacteria.  It seems that the contaminants in the mop water
are the same that are in the sump, just in different concentrations.  So, the
only difference is that the mop water accumulates for some period of time in
an environment that is conducive to biological growth.  The bacteria count
then reaches a level that fouls the filter.  This same situation would happen
with the coolant in the sump if it were allowed to sit stagnant for some
period of time or was left unfiltered.

So, should the shop decide to still employ any level of mopping, they will
still have some mop water accumulation.  There are steps that shops use to
minimize biological activity in aqueous-based metal working fluids that may be
used here.  Question:  How often do they clean the coolant in the sumps with
the Sump Sucker?  Is this the only thing they do to prevent biological
activity in this system or is a biocide used?

If a biocide is not employed, they may want to try filtering the accumulated
mop water through the Sump Sucker on a regular basis.  This would allow
filtering before bacteria levels become a problem.  The accumulation barrel
should also be wiped clean at this time to prevent the formation of mold or
fungi on the container itself which would later end up in the fluid and foul
the filter.  The question then becomes, what do they do with the filtered
coolant?  Is it clean enough to use as make-up? Or, have other contaminants
been introduced such as floor cleaners? 

Controlling biological activity in aqueous-based fluids is key to insuring
product quality, machine integrity, and fluid life as well as protecting
worker health.  There are health effects attributed to the biological activity
that occurs in these fluids, but a good fluid maintenance program can go a
long way to preventing this.

I hope that this information is helpful.

Andy Bray
Environmental Engineer
Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA)
129 Portland Street, Sixth Floor
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 367-8558 ext.306