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Genesee & Wyoming – Dry Creek, South Australia

BHP Case Study

Genesee & Wyoming is an international company that own and operate rail lines and rail haulage equipment across 6 of the 7 states in Australia. A significant component of their business is operating locomotive service workshops around the country.

Genesee Inlet sample

The Challenges

The rail industry produces particularly difficult oily water to treat for a variety of reasons.

  • Fire suppression foam is a highly emulsifying chemical and this is often released as part of a Loco service (it does a great job of cleaning the engine)
  • Glycols are often dumped as part of coolant changovers and these are also highly emulsifying
  • Very high oil concentrations – these come from spills and leaks that occur during servicing
  • Large sites mean transfer pumps are often required and these can mechanically emulsify the oily water – choosing the right pump can help minimise this
  • Generally small water volumes means there is not as much dilution as other industries experience

This means that traditional gravity based systems such as plate packs are no longer able to maintain compliance as the discharge requirements of local authorities get tighter.

Emulsification basically means the oil droplets are being made smaller, the smaller the oil droplets get the more powerful your oil water separator needs to be to achieve the required discharge standard.

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The Outcome

Ultraspin personnel audited the Dry Creek site to assess what of the existing infrastructure could be reused or re-purposed in order to keep costs down as low as possible.

An existing heavy sediment control system was kept as it worked reasonably well.

Our solution consisted of:

  • A skimmer to feed the separator with the oiliest water from the surface of an oily water collection tank
  • A 3.5m3/hr Ultraspin Oil Water Separator (2 stage EB35) to cope with the highly emulsified oily water from the rail workshop

The 2 stage system works by taking the oily water, passing it through the first stage of oil separation and then utilising the left over pressure to drive a second stage of oil separation to get even better oil removal.

Genesee outlet sample