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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1591

Industrial Service Bureau to the rescue of vehicle service station wastewater treatment

Q Perera - Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 06 January, ( quantity of wastewater contaminated with oil, grease and other substances are discharged by the vehicle service stations throughout the country polluting the environment. It is now revealed that the vehicle service stations find it difficult now to comply with the wastewater discharge standards set out by the Central Environmental Authority, due to the lack of awareness and knowledge on technologies available to clean this contaminated water before discharging to the environment.

The Industrial Services Bureau (ISB), Kurunegala has now initiated a project to facilitate the enforcement of environmental regulation by making available technically feasible and economically viable technological solution to motor vehicle service stations.

Sri Lanka is now having over 1.3 million active vehicle populations that require cleaning and servicing after every 3,000 km of running. To cater to this demand, more than 1,200 service stations are currently operating in Sri Lanka. These service stations consume a large quantity of water and discharge as wastewater contaminated withy oil, grease and other petroleum substances. This will result in on the one hand the non-compliance and on the other loss of business opportunities.

Muthugala vehicle service station in Kurunegala provided the premises, other facilities and a part of the operational expenses to carry out trails and to test one of the US Technologies; oil water separators (OWS) for free oil separation of wastewater and bio-remediation techniques with locally available substrates for the emulsified oil separation and to remove other pollutants to meet the discharge standards.

This is a collaborative effort with the participation of five partners; each one having a distinct role but integrated together for a common goal. The project was implemented under the patronage of US-AEP Sri Lanka and Minnesota State Corporation and Industrial Services Bureau acted as project partners from USA and Sri Lanka respectively. Minnesota State Corporation liased with US technology providers. Financial and technical assistance of USAID/US-AEP was made available for the sourcing of US technologies and to carry out trials. ISB was the project coordinator and provided the manpower required for the trails while meeting certain local costs.

OWS retains the wastewater long enough to allow those contaminants with specific gravities different to water, to separate out floats and can be skimmed from the surface of the water in the separator. Conversely, solids settled to the bottom and accumulate at the sludge baffle. The accumulating wastes and solids are periodically removed and or properly disposed of or recycled.

Emulsified oil needed to be treated prior to settling for removal. So that further treatment to remove other contaminants is also be required. Three types of material were tested to select the most efficient and effective secondary treatment as Charcoal, Coir pitch and coir in anaerobic condition.

- Asian Tribune -


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