White Papers

SYSTEMS FOR ACUTE CARE
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

NANCY SULLINS MPH, LEED AP

HEALTH CARE FACILITIES ARE A CRITICAL COMPONENT TO A COMMUNITY’S RECOVERY DURING A DISASTER, AN ACCIDENT OR AN ACT OF TERRORISM. THE WATER SUPPLY FOR A FACILITY COULD BE INTERRUPTED FOR ANY OF THESE INCIDENTS. HEALTH CARE FACILITIES NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR A POTENTIAL LOSS OF THEIR WATER SUPPLY IN ADDITION TO ELECTRICAL POWER AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE.

WHERE IS THE AFFF USED?

There is no one set of national standards which establishes requirements for emergency water supplies of health care facilities. However, on June 12, 2002, President Bush signed into law the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. The act requires community water systems, serving populations greater than 3,300, to either prepare or revise an emergency response plan. In developing the plan, community water systems are encouraged to include hospitals.

The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), an independent non-profit national accreditation organization, has established the standard EM.02.02.09 requiring
hospital emergency operation plans to identify procedures if the hospital cannot be supported by a local community for at least 96 hours relative to water, wastewater disposal, power and heating fuels. Although JCAHO is not a governmental agency, for health care facilities to maintain their accreditation, they must comply with the standard.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Conditions for Participation/Conditions for Coverage (42 CFR 482.41) requires that health care facilities must include emergency gas and water supply. This requirement has bearing on those health care facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

States and local municipalities may include requirements within their building and/or plumbing codes. 

For example: California has addressed the issue through their building and plumbing codes. SB 1953 (1994), an amendment to the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act (SB 519 HSSA) of 1973, established five nonstructural performance categories for acute care hospital facilities. These categories include expiration dates with the goal to have all acute care hospital facilities meeting NPC-5, the most stringent category, by 2030. NPC- 5 requires an on-site water supply, holding tanks for wastewater, and fuel supply for 72 hours of emergency operations. Compliance is mandated by 2030, or the facility will be removed from acute care service.

California Plumbing Code Section 614.4.1 states: “For acute care hospital facilities required to meet NPC-5, an on-site water supply of 150 gallons (based on 50 gallons/day/bed for 72 hours) of potable
water per licensed bed shall be provided. The emergency supply shall have fittings to allow for replenishment of the water supply from transportable sources.”

SOLUTION


EMERGENCY POTABLE WATER SYSTEM

To maintain accreditation with Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), an Acute Care Facility needs an emergency potable water supply sufficient to service the
facility for 96 hours. Per California Plumbing Code Section 614.4.1 an Acute Care Facility must supply an on-site water supply of 150 gallons (based on 50 gallons/day/bed for 72 hours) of potable water
per licensed bed.

ParkUSA® offers an emergency potable water system that is integrated into the facility’s potable water system. When there is a disruption in the water service, diverter valves are activated, enabling the backup water supply. The emergency potable water system becomes the facility’s source of potable water for the designed capacity (72 hours or 96 hours). The system comes with an external connector to allow for replenishment of the water supply from transportable sources if the emergency continues past the design period. Potable water storage tanks are utilized to store water onsite in aboveground or belowground configurations. Tank material can consist of: corrugated steel, fiberglass, high density polyethylene and precast concrete.

WASTEWATER HOLDING TANK

The ParkUSA® DeConTank® Series is a holding tank system for the safe containment of sanitary waste or contaminated wastewater. The system is engineered to hold sanitary wastewater when a facility’s wastewater treatment system is not operational or inaccessible. The DeConTank® system also includes an option to intercept and store hazardous wastewater discharged from decontamination rinse showers and isolation activities.

The DeConTank® system features direct bury and aboveground models, sized from 50 to 10,000 gallons. The storage tank is double walled and available in three different materials, precast concrete, fiberglass or stainless steel. The control system includes high level leak detection and a diverter valve system. The diverter valve system is a new innovation that allows for greater utilization for hospital facilities. The hospital personnel can control the shower discharge to either sanitary sewer or the DeConTank® for decontamination activities.

The DeConTank® system can be designed with a pump system to empty the storage tank contents into the sanitary sewer system once the system is operational. If the optional dual system  (Decontamination and Emergency Storage) is chosen, the tank includes a pump port with camlock fitting for remote pump out and a vent with an activated carbon filter.

FUEL TANK WITH SPILL CONTAIMENT

The SuperVault® MH is the first tank to pass the SwRI 95-03 Multi-Hazard test, the toughest national test for aboveground fuel tanks. The SuperVault® MH has been tested for multiple exposure to fires
and other hazards, plus an extended element exposure test. This means that if the SuperVault® MH experiences a hazard, it may be recertified and kept in service rather than having to be replaced.  In addition to SwRI 95-03, the listing includes a 4-hour fire rating. It meets the stringent safety requirements of Uniform Fire Code Appendix Standard A-II-F-1 (UFC 79-7), SwRI Test Procedure 93-01, NFPA 30/30A, and UL 2085 Protected Tank 20-Year transferable warranty. Seismic restraints are part of every tank.  External diking not required by UFC.

SuperVault® MH is offered in two configurations, cylindrical and rectangular. The cylindrical line is available from 250 gallons to 20,000 gallons. The rectangular line is available from 250 gallons to 2,000 gallons. Components that are part of the system include: spill containment basin, shut-off device, overfill alarm, leak sensors, emergency vent. An optional generator for the fuel tank system is available.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY 

ParkUSA® believes in water technology development to combine efficiency and environmentally friendly products. ParkUSA’s goal is to offer its customers sustainable green solutions that meet todays needs, as well as anticipated changes in regulations.

Contact us for more information and design assistance.

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Hospital White Paper

Hospital White Paper

Oil-filled operational
Equipment and SPCC

NANCY SULLINS MPH, LEED AP

OIL-FILLED OPERATIONAL EQUIPMENT - TRANSFORMERS, WIND TURBINES, ELECTRICAL SWITCHGEARS INCLUDED UNDER SPILL PREVENTION CONTROL AND COUNTERMEASURE (SPCC) RULE.

BACKGROUND

The Oil Pollution Prevention regulation promulgated under the authority of §311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, or Clean Water Act (CWA) sets forth requirements for prevention of,  preparedness for, and response to oil discharges at specific non-transportation related facilities.  To prevent oil from reaching navigable waters or adjoining shorelines, and to contain discharges of oil, the regulation requires these facilities to develop and implement SPCC Plans and establishes procedures, methods, and equipment requirements. The SPCC rule was promulgated in 1973, with significant amendments published in 2002. EPA finalized additional revisions in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011.

§112.1 of the SPSS rule establishes the general applicability. The SPCC rule applies to facilities that:

  • Are non-transportation related;
  • Have an aboveground oil storage capacity of more than 1,320 US gallons or a completely buried oil storage capacity greater than 42,000 US gallons; and
  • Could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to navigable waters or adjoining shorelines in quantities that may be harmful.
  • Any container with oil capacity less than 55 US gallons is exempt.

Oil-filled operational equipment is covered by the SPCC rule. Oil-filled operational equipment includes equipment with an oil storage container (or multiple containers) in which the oil is present solely to support the function of the apparatus or the device. Examples of oil-filled operational equipment include, but are not limited to, hydraulic systems, lubricating systems (e.g., those for pumps, compressors and other rotating equipment, including pumpjack lubrication systems), gear boxes, machining coolant systems, heat transfer systems, transformers, circuit breakers, electrical switches, wind turbines, and other systems containing oil solely to enable the operation of the device.

The SPCC rule applies only to facilities that, due to their location, can reasonably be expected to discharge oil as described in §112.1(b). The rule does not define the term “reasonably be expected.”  The owner or operator of each facility must determine the potential for a discharge from his/her facility. According to §112.1(d)(1)(i), this determination must be based solely upon consideration of the geographical and locational aspects of the facility. An owner or operator should consider the location of the facility in relation to a stream, ditch, gully, or storm sewer; the volume of material likely to be spilled; drainage patterns; and soil conditions.

COMPLIANCE

Properly designed, maintained, and operated oil water separators (OWS) may be used as part of a facility drainage system to meet the secondary containment requirements of the rule in §§112.7(c),
112.7(h)(1), 112.8(c)(2), 112.8(c)(11), 112.12(c)(2), and/or 112.12(c)(11). Additionally, §§112.8(b), 112.9(b), and 112.12(b) set forth design specifications for drainage associated with secondary  containment provisions at a facility. Standard gravity and enhanced gravity separators, or other types of OWS, may be used to meet secondary containment requirements. In this application, the separators are expected to have oil and water present in the system when there is an oil discharge or oil-contaminated precipitation runoff within the drainage area.

When OWS is used to meet SPCC requirements, it must be properly operated and maintained to ensure it will perform correctly and as intended under the potential discharge scenarios it is aimed to address. The separator must be constructed to contain oil and prevent an escape of oil from the system prior to cleanup to comply with the secondary containment provision for which it is intended (§112.7(c)).

OWS SIZING

To comply with the general secondary containment requirements of §112.7(c) OWS sizing must address the most likely discharge from any part of the facility and should consider:

  • The drainage area that flows to the separator;
  • The corresponding anticipated flow rate of the drainage system to the separator; and
  • The appropriate capacity of the OWS for oil and for wastewater.

Example: Substation A has one transformer with 187 gallons of mineral oil capacity, one transformer with 420 gallons of mineral oil capacity, and four transformers with 53 gallons of mineral oil capacity each. The area is not diked, as standing water at a facility where high voltage is present is a potential safety hazard. The peak rainfall intensity of 0.6 inch per hour (i) has been determined reasonable design criterion for the area. The drainage area is 8,000 sq. ft.(A) with 100% imperviousness with a run off coefficient of 0.88 (C).

SOLUTION

ParkUSA® offers spill management devices for mitigating oil releases. The following is a sampling. The StormTrooper® HMI, a part of the ParkUSA® StormTrooper® product family, is patented technology that is designed to intercept free fat, oil, grease, TSS, debris and other pollutants found in stormwater. In addition, the HMI system can accommodate spills up to 3,800 gallons. The unit has hydrophobic media and an oil-stop valve to ensure that no oil leaves the separator. A high oil alarm will be activated if the separator oil storage capacity has been met. An optional diverter valve that closes off the effluent line is available.

ParkUSA® OilStop™ Valve (OSV) is a device designed to prevent an environmental catastrophe in the event of an oil or hydrocarbon spill. The patented, yet simple passive design of the OSV is automatic
and requires little maintenance. The OSV can be used to enhance the operation of oil-water separators, inlets basins, and spill containment vaults and manholes. The OSV is an added assurance of non-oily water discharge.


OUR RESPONSIBILITY 

ParkUSA® believes in water technology development to combine efficiency and environmentally friendly products. ParkUSA’s goal is to offer its customers sustainable green solutions that meet todays needs, as well as anticipated changes in regulations.

Contact us for more information and design assistance.

Additional Resources

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SPCC Transformers White Paper

SPCC Transformers White Paper

Designing to meet Performance
Requirements defined in the Energy Independence and security Act of 2007

NANCY SULLINS MPH, LEED AP

THE PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER (EO 13148) – GREENING THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH LEADERSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, AND THE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SECURITY ACT OF 2007 (ACT) HAVE PLACED CHALLENGES ON BUILDING DESIGNERS AND ENGINEERING TEAMS.

ISSUE

EO 13148, signed by Bush in 2000, mandates that “environmental management considerations must be a fundamental and integral component of Federal Government policies, operations,  planning, and management.” The primary goal of this EO is “for each agency to strive to promote the sustainable management of Federal facility lands through the implementation of cost-effective, environmentally sound landscaping practices and other programs to reduce adverse impacts to the natural environment.”

Title IV - Energy Savings in Building and Industry, Subtitle C - High Performance Federal Buildings of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 contain two sections, Section 436 and Section 438, that place specific requirements on the design of new federally funded buildings. Section 436 requires “green practices that can be used throughout the life of a Federal facility.” Section 438-Stormwater Runoff Requirements for Federal Development Projects, states that “any development or redevelopment project …with a footprint that exceeds 5,000 square feet shall use site planning,  design, construction and maintenance strategies for the property to maintain or restore, to the maximum extent technically feasible, the predevelopment hydrology of the property with regard to the temperature, rate, volume and duration of flow.”

Because of the requirements defined in EO 13148 and the Act, a building design needs to include sustainable management, environmentally sound practices, and restore site hydrology to predevelopment condition as near as possible.

One effective sustainable management strategy, rainwater harvesting, is a practice recognized by the most widely used green building rating system in the world, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It
conserves potable water and is a form of storm water volume control and pollutant load reduction. Commercial rainwater harvesting applications include schools, hospitals, shopping centers, government buildings, office buildings, factories and warehouses, farms and garden centers. By supplementing or eliminating the use of potable water in non-potable applications, “green” buildings not only reduce their municipal water bills, but also contribute to conserving a valuable, limited resource in our environment. Since rainwater is collected using existing structures, i.e., the roof and/ or parking areas, rainwater harvesting has few negative environmental impacts such as increased runoff, and higher pollutant loads.

RAINWATER COLLECTION AND TREATMENT SYSTEM

ParkUSA® has a developed a Rainwater Collection and Treatment system. The Rainwater Collection and Treatment system is a proven, state-of-the-art system for water reclamation and re-use. The
system processes rainwater for use in non-potable applications, such as cooling towers, water closets, and irrigation. The RainTrooper® systems are custom designed and built for the specific needs of each project.

Features include:

  • Pretreatment - Vortex Filtration
  • Cistern - Rainwater Collection
  • Cistern Pump System
  • Rainwater Treatment System
  • Day Tank
  • Re-pressurization Booster Pumps
  • RT Management System

For example - the new sector headquarters office building for United States Coast Guard at Ellington Air Field, located on the south east side of Houston, Texas. The RainTrooper® Rainwater Collection
and Treatment System for the USCG Headquarters includes a pretreatment filter, 49,500-gallon cistern, cistern pump system, rainwater treatment system, dye and chlorine dosing system, 800-gallon day tank, re-pressurization booster pumps, and a state of the art management system. The pretreatment filter is designed so that coarse debris is removed prior to entering the cistern. The 49,500- gallon cistern consists of a battery of three 16,500 concrete structures with the first featuring a calming inlet and the final tank housing the cistern pumps. The cistern pumps are controlled by sensors that detect the pressure on the water going to the rainwater filter system. The filter system starts by feeding all the water through a 10-micron and then a 5-micron self-cleaning filter. The next step in the process involves the rain water passing through an active carbon filter. The filtration is completed by the water circulating past a UV filter for bacteria and ozone treatment. The water is then injected with a 12.5% chlorine solution and blue dye to indicate its non-potable status. The 800-gallon day tank is the next stop for the rain water. Here it is stored so that the building has a large retention of water if needed. From the day tank, the water then passes through the booster pump system to maintain 40 psi pressure on the building’s non-potable water system.

The whole system is monitored and maintained by the Rainwater Management Panel. This panel utilizes a digital touch screen display to relay information about the systems operating conditions. It monitors the cistern tank and day tank levels, filter system water pressure, building water pressure, and usage of both rainwater from the cistern and city water from public works. The management panel also displays a visual alarm when the water levels in either the cistern or day tank fall below acceptable levels.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY 

ParkUSA® believes in water technology development to combine efficiency and environmentally friendly products. ParkUSA’s goal is to offer its customers sustainable green solutions that meet todays needs, as well as anticipated changes in regulations.

Contact us for more information and design assistance.

Additional Resources

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Rainwater White Paper

Rainwater White Paper

WASTEWATER AND
FIRE FIGHTING FOAM

CHRIS EBERLY. PE

AQUEOUS FIRE FIGHTING FOAM (AFFF) IS A SYNTHETIC FIRE FIGHTING FOAM CONSISTING OF COMBINATIONS OF FLUOROCHEMICAL AND HYDROCARBON SURFACTANTS COMBINED WITH HIGH BOILING POINT SOLVENTS AND WATER. THE SURFACTANTS ALTER THE SURFACE PROPERTIES OF WATER IN SUCH A WAY THAT A THIN AQUEOUS FILM CAN SPREAD ON A HYDROCARBON FUEL EVEN THOUGH THE AQUEOUS FILM IS MORE DENSE THAN THE FUEL.  AFFF SYSTEMS HAVE SUPERIOR FIRE EXTINGUISHING CAPABILITY OF FLAMMABLE OR COMBUSTIBLE LIQUIDS, ESPECIALLY JET FUEL SPILLS.

WHERE IS THE AFFF USED?

AFFF fire suppression systems are typically provided in aircraft hangars. This type of protection is necessary to protect valuable, mission-essential aircraft and hangar facilities. The obstacles to fire suppression in hangars include suppressing fuel fires under wing shadows and rotary-wing aircraft and still protecting the aircraft and its sensitive electronics. AFFF high-expansion foam is effective when discharged overhead. Suppressant foam hits the top of the aircraft and the floor, then flows in a blanket below wing shadows.

AFFF FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEMS PROVIDED IN AIRCRAFT HANGERS PROTECT VALUABLE, MISSION-ESSENTIAL AIRCRAFT

ARE THERE DISPOSAL CONCERNS OF AFFF?

A concern of AFFF systems is the discharge of AFFF foam solution. In large volumes, AFFF foam can be harmful to the environment. AFFF solution should not be allowed to flow untreated into the  ecosystem, or into the sewage systems in large quantities. In the event of a fire, the fire suppression system will activate. However, a fire is a very rare event. The primary concern is discharge from
unwanted activations and from periodic testing.

SHOULD AFFF BE RELEASED INTO THE ENVIRONMENT?

AFFF should not be released untreated to the environment. Here is why:

Short Term Consequences

Large volumes of AFFF discharge can negatively impact the environment, as well as produce bad side effects, such as foaming. Because AFFF is biodegradable, the breakdown of AFFF by bacteria consumes oxygen. AFFF can deprive aquatic life of oxygen and cause fish kills.

Long Term Consequences

Fluorochemical surfactants (also referred to as fluorosurfactants) are essential ingredients in AFFF concentrate. No other known class of materials has the capability of producing aqueous solutions of sufficiently low surface tension to permit the formation of an aqueous film on hydrocarbon fuels. This low surface tension allows the aqueous film to spread over and seal the surface of the fuel, extinguishing the flames and preventing the flammable liquids from evaporating. No other type of surfactant can do this as effectively as a fluorosurfactants. Fire fighting agents containing  fluorosurfactants can extinguish flammable liquid fires more quickly using lesser amounts of agent than fire fighting agents not containing fluorosurfactants. A drawback to fluorosurfactants is that
they move with water in aquatic systems and leach through soil. Whereas a readily degradable compound will break down as it leaches through soil, the degradation products of fluorosurfactants
will not. If allowed to soak into the ground, fluorosurfactants may eventually reach groundwater or flow out of the ground into surface water and cause foaming and other undesirable effects.

SHOULD AFFF BE RELEASED INTO THE SANITARY SEWER?

Once the foam-water solution has been contained, the most common method of disposal is to treat it biologically in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The AFFF should be dosed through an oil-water separator and then discharged to a sanitary sewer. A WWTP should be contacted prior to discharge. In most cases it will require a Material Safety Data Sheet for the foam concentrate (contains information on composition, BOD, aquatic toxicity), an estimate of the total volume of foam-water solution to be discharged, and the anticipated timing of the discharge. The WWTP may require foam-water solution to be diluted in advance. The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that the concentration of any foam-water solution in the total volume of WWTP influent should not exceed 1700 parts per million (ppm).

For example, foam-water solution could be discharged at the rate of 7 gallons per minute (gpm) to a 6 million gallon per day WWTP. The difficulties of metering such a low rate of discharge can be overcome by diluting the foam-water solution by 10 or 20 to 1, permitting discharge rates of 70 or 140 gpm respectively.

WHO CAN PROVIDE A AFFF WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM?

ParkUSA® manufactures a wastewater treatment system that specifically targets AFFF discharge. ParkUSA® has many years of experience with airport Infrastructure & hangers. The ParkUSA® system includes all necessary components from drain to sewer. Here are the components of the ParkUSA® AF3 System.

The AF3 Containment System consists of:

  • Trench Drain
  • Diverter Valve
  • Oil-Water Separator
  • Sample Well
  • AFFF Containment Tank
  • AFFF Containment Controls

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The floor drain system is located in the area protected by fire suppression system, usually a hanger or helipad. The flooring is sloped to the floor drains or trench drain. All fluids that hit the hanger
floor, drain in to the trench drain. Piping connects the trench drain to the automatic diverter valve. The diverter valve assembly has one incoming pipe and two exiting pipes; one directed to the sanitary sewer (normal condition), and another pipe directed to the AFFF containment tank or pond (alarm condition). The diverter valve system can include an automatic control system that will allow the central fire alarm system to activate the diverter valve. The control system will provide valve position status and automatic and manual control.

Normal Condition

Under normal conditions, the flow from spillage and floor wash-down is directed to the oil-water separator. In the separator, all solids and hydrocarbons are separated and retained. The treated effluent flows out of the separator and then through the sample well. The sample well provides an access area to visually inspect and take grab samples of the wastewater effluent. The discharged wastewater is then piped to the sanitary sewer.

Suppression System Activation Condition

Upon the activation of the fire suppression system, a signal is sent to the AF3 management panel. The diverter valve changes position and diverts wastewater flow from the oil-water separator, to the
containment tank where all the fluids are detained.

After-Activation Condition

The AFFF containment tank is eventually emptied by a liquid waste disposal company or can be emptied by managed dosing (pumped at a low flow rate). The dosed flow is directed to the oilwater
separator where solids and hydrocarbons are separated and retained. The treated effluent is discharged to the sanitary sewer.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY 

ParkUSA® believes in water technology development to combine efficiency and environmentally friendly products. ParkUSA’s goal is to offer its customers sustainable green solutions that meet todays needs, as well as anticipated changes in regulations.

Contact us for more information and design assistance.

Additional Resources

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AF3 White Paper

AF3 White Paper

Flyer

AF3 Flyer

Fatbergs in the sewer

NANCY SULLINS MPH, LEED AP

GREASE CAUSES 71 PERCENT OF SEWER BACKUPS, ACCORDING TO THE NEW YORK CITY'S 2016 STATE OF THE SEWERS REPORT.

BACKGROUND

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, nearly 240 million Americans, 76% of the population, rely on the nation’s 14,748 treatment plants for wastewater sanitation. By 2032, ASCE expects that 56 million more people will connect to centralized treatment plants, rather than private septic systems, a 23% increase in demand. In the U.S., there are over 800,000 miles of public sewers and 500,000 miles of private lateral sewers connecting private property to public sewer lines. All these conveyance systems are susceptible to structural failure, blockages, and overflows. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that at least 23,000 to 75,000 sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) events occur in the United States each year.

Fat, oil and grease, commonly referred to as FOG, contributes to approximately 47% of these SSO spills. Typical sources of FOG include: food scraps, meat fats, plant oils, cooking oil, butter, margarine, sauces, gravy, mayonnaise, salad dressing, baked goods, dairy products and deepfried foods. Other sources include body oils, lotions, oily residue from laundering and lipid-soluble hydrocarbons.

PROBLEM

Over time, the FOG mixes with other constituents such as calcium, sodium and phosphorus, found in the sewage, forming a hard soap like compound. When this compound mixes with nonbiodegradable solids, such as wet wipes, dental floss, diapers, makeup pads, hair and other types of personal care products, a “fatberg” is formed; a congealed lump of non-biodegradable solid matter.

Fatbergs are very problematic and are becoming more common. They have been identified thoughout the United States, Europe and around the world. According to Charleston, SC officials, a fatberg stretching 12 feet long, 36-inch-wide, weighing approximately 2,000 pounds was removed from their system in 2018. Macomb County, MI public works removed a 100-foot-long fatberg found in an 11-foot diameter pipe called the Lakeshore Interceptor. The pipe, located about 50 feet below ground, runs for 7 miles, serving Clinton, Harrison, Chesterfield and Lenox townships in Michigan. Officials in Baltimore, MD identified a giant lump of FOG and wet wipes that caused an overflow, spilling nearly 1.2 million gallons of sewage. The fatberg blocked approximately 85 percent of a 24-inch-wide, 100-year-old pipe. Another notorious example is a large fatberg found in 2017, known as the Whitechapel fatberg, that was 270 yards long and weighed 140 tons. Portions of the Whitechapel fatberg have been placed in the Museum of London for public viewing.

Whitechapel fatberg located in London, 2017

Charleston, SC, 2018

The cleaning and removal of fatbergs is costly in addition to contributing to sewer clogs and backups.

For example:

  • Clinton Township, MI cleared a single 100-foot long fatberg found in an 11-foot diameter pipe at a cost of $100,000.
  • Baltimore, MD cleared a single 20-foot fatberg at a cost of $60,000.
  • Ft. Wayne, IN has spent half a million dollars a year cleaning grease out of sewers.
  • New York City spent $18 million fighting fatbergs over a 5-year period.
  • London spends up to $63 million (£50 million) annually removing fatbergs from city sewers.

HOW TO REDUCE OR PREVENT THE FORMATION OF FATBERGS?

The only items that should enter a sanitary sewer system are the three “P’s”: pee, poop and paper. The elimination or the reduction of non-biodegradable solids in addition to FOG is necessary to prevent or reduce the formation of fatbergs. If non-biodegradable solids enter the system, then the size of the solids need to be no greater than half an inch (1/2”), so they will flow through the pipe and not settle.

SOLUTION

ParkUSA® offers a wide variety of infrastructure products to address FOG and non-biodegradable solids, from interception, shredding, and screening to system repair.

GreaseTrooper® is a family of gravity interceptor devices designed to reduce the amount of FOG, a major contributor to fatbergs. Grease interceptors work on the buoyancy principle. Fats and oils are 10 to 15 percent less dense than water and do not mix with water. Thus, fats and oils float on top of water. When wastewater enters a grease interceptor, the velocity is reduced enough that wastewater is given time to cool and separate into 3 layers. The fats and oils rise to the top inside the interceptor and are trapped using a system of baffles. Solids settle at the bottom, and the separated clear water escapes under an outlet baffle. Grease interceptors can also have strainers for collecting solid debris, which reduce the quantity of solids that settle at the bottom of the interceptor.

The Grinder Assembly system is an “In-Line Grinder” or “Open Channel Grinder” recommended for use on gravity-flow sewer lines which may experience high solids that can “clog” the sewer piping. Grinders shred a wide variety of materials including sanitary wipes, rags, wood, paper, shoes, sludge and more. These units are proven to reduce pump clogging, protect process and dewatering equipment, and prevent fatbergs to keep wastewater systems running properly. Famous grinder brands include: Grundfos (Sewer Chewer), Muffin Monster, Franklin Miller, and Vogelsang.

The BarScreen™ system is a stationary screen system used for wastewater applications. Bar screen assemblies are used in open channel flow applications to separate & detain course debris and contraband which could lead to fatberg formations. As opposed to expensive automatic rake screens, bar screens can be more economical.

The LintTrooper® is used in commercial and institutional laundries to remove excessive amounts of lint and silt that may interfere with the proper drainage and treatment of wastewater. Local plumbing codes require the installation of a lint interceptor to pretreat the wastewater. The LintTrooper is an interceptor that consists of a multi-compartment basin and unique technology for lint and sediment separation. Typical applications include commercial /institutional laundries, dry-cleaners, and textile operations. The wastewater discharged from these facilities usually contains high quantities of lint, silt, dissolved and suspended solids that can contribute to fatberg creation. The LintTrooper is compliant with both UPC and IPC plumbing codes and can be equipped with debris screening technology that prevents string, rags, buttons, and other materials from entering the public sanitary sewer system that are major contributors to fatbergs.

The SolidsTrooper® is a solids interceptor that can be used in commercial establishments to collect and hold excessive amounts of solid substances found in wastewater. A solids interceptor should be installed in areas, as determined by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), where pretreatment of waste streams is necessary. Some AHJs require the addition of screens or baskets that prevent solids greater than one-half inch (1/2”) in diameter from entering the sanitary sewer system. In some cases, project requirements call for even finer separation. The SolidsTrooper is a solids and sediment interceptor that consists of a multi-compartment basin and unique technology for solids and sediment separation. Typical applications for Solids Interceptors include food processing, zoos, ag barns, healthcare, glass bottlers, dumpster areas and manufacturing facilities. Waste discharge loadings from these facilities contain solid substances like waste grindings, potato peels, rice, aquarium gravel, animal solids, glass, trash, dental waste, jewels, plaster, hair, ceramic waste, fish bones and meat trimmings. The SolidsTrooper is compliant with both UPC and IPC plumbing codes. The SolidsTrooper utilizes debris screening technology that prevents formation of fatbergs and promote maintenance-free sewer systems.

The OilTrooper® is a sand-oil interceptor that consists of a multi-compartment basin and patented enhanced separation technology for sediment and oil separation. Typical applications include vehicle maintenance and washrack facilities, fueling depots, industrial areas, parking lots, and storm water runoff. The OilTrooper sand-oil interceptor separates and detains to hydrocarbons, therefore minimizing fatberg creation in sewer systems. The GOTrooper® is a Grit-Oil Interceptor that pretreats cosmetic wash wastewater. The unit can be utilized in gravity flow or pumped-driven systems. The wastewater flows into an inlet chamber, passes through a baffle and oleophilic coalescing plates to separate oil and solids. The discharging effluent comprises the clearer water underneath the floating oils. The GOTrooper grit-oil interceptor is used to separate and detain hydrocarbons, therefore minimizing fatberg creation in sewer systems.

The ManholeOPS™ (overflow protection system) is a leakproof sewer manhole solution that is suitable for preventing sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) due to system surcharging and infiltration from flood waters. ParkUSA offers customized systems to address SSO and fatberg challenges for public sewer systems.

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