Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Environmental Benefits of Oil Skimmers on Coolant Tanks
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s replacement of its oil skimmers saved potential costs associated with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Agency’s findings. The new oil skimmers reduced the need to frequently replace coolant, and improved employees’ quality of life by eliminating the formation of bacteria that often causes skin irritation.
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s (EBQP’s) machine coolant supply tanks use oil skimmers to remove tramp oil to extend the coolant’s useful life and eliminate anaerobic bacteria growth. The age and condition of the oil skimmers, combined with sporadic maintenance and cleaning of the skimmers, led to an inefficient skimming process. Without an effective means of separating the tramp oil from the coolant, the coolant became rancid and required replacement. EBQP’s average coolant cost per month was $1,700.
EBQP evaluated numerous replacement skimmers based on ease of installation, effectiveness, and durability, and selected and installed a Zebra Belt Skimmer with diverters that separate the oil and coolant, reducing the monthly coolant cost to $619. EBQP also implemented a maintenance and monitoring program to ensure coolant integrity. EBQP’s new oil skimming process is so effective that the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management determined that the machine coolant tanks would not be categorized as underground storage tanks which are controlled by strict regulations for petroleum and hazardous materials. If EBQP’s coolant supply tanks had fallen into this classification, the potential monetary penalty and clean-up costs could have been significant.
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