Meeting New York’s Stringent Water Regulations


A New York manufacturer of pharmaceutical products such as cream and ointments is required to clean equipment daily with soap and hot water. The wastewater is collected in a grease trap separator and then into a sump pit where a surface oil skimmer removes any floating oil and grease. This wastewater then passes through an oil magnet filter for discharge into the New York City sewer.

The emulsified oil phase consists of white petroleum, stearic acid, fatty acid stearates, fatty alcohols, mineral oils, oxyethylene ethers and stearates. The average concentration of emulsified oil is 5 – 400 PPM.  Average daily discharge is 3,110 gallons. The New York City regulations stipulate a discharge level of no more than 50 PPM petroleum hydrocarbons which is a level frequently exceeded by the manufacturer.

This manufacturer needed a solution to sufficiently lower the chemical contamination in their water discharge.  Two trains of filtration vessels were set up in parallel. The lead unit contains 350 lbs of HS-200 followed by 190 lbs of a blend of a bituminous and coconut shell activated carbon.  Over 250,000 gallons of wastewater have already passed through the optimized system and test samples report no detection of hydrocarbons.

The company achieved these superb results by installing an $8,000 filtration system using organically modified media and activated carbon. This was an 80% savings over the $40,000 ultrafiltration system they had initially considered, thus lowering the company’s capitalization costs by at least $32,00 in one stroke. In addition, the filtration media is expected to have to be changed once a year.

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