Environmental regulations are constantly changing as governing bodies and project managers step up to protect communities and ecosystems, leaving contractors to navigate safer, more efficient wastewater treatment options if they want to ensure continued work. For some, this means bulky, unreliable in-house systems that require a lot of oversight and space on already crowded jobsites. Others choose to hire third-party vacuum contractors to manage the process. However, this comes with a hefty price tag. Depending on the removal contactor, water vacuum collection and hauling services can cost as much as $0.15 per gallon for treatment alone. Add hauling and personnel fees and an operation could end up paying as much as $50,000 for water removal for a one-week hydrodemolition project.
To remain competitive, the most successful hydrodemolition contractors have turned to original equipment manufacturers for cutting-edge, on-site solutions that provide reliable, cost-effective water treatment. These systems are manufactured with a variety of features and differ in their treatment methods. Each uniquely affects the safety, efficiency and, ultimately, the profitability of a contractor’s operation. To optimize these benefits, here are some key considerations to keep in mind.
One of the biggest downsides is mineral acid is dangerous to handle. Workers must have special training and wear special personal protective equipment (PPE) to work with the acid. Precision and control are also greatly reduced when using acid to reduce pH. It is easy for operators to accidentally take the treatment too far and acidify the water. This fact alone results in a necessarily slow and costly process.
Some advanced water treatment systems, on the other hand, use carbon dioxide rather than acid to neutralize water pH. With carbon dioxide it is virtually impossible to acidify the water. Plus, unlike methods requiring acid, carbon dioxide does not leave any hazardous byproducts.
Treatment with carbon dioxide is also a fraction of the cost of acids commonly used for pH reduction. Treating with hydrochloric or sulfuric acid costs around four times as much as carbon dioxide. Citric acid? Nearly eight times more expensive.
In short, a system that treats pH with carbon dioxide instead of acid is much easier and far less expensive to operate.
Some advanced treatment systems use modern flocculation technology to effectively remove particles from the water, reliably reducing water turbidity to harmless levels. These sophisticated units can treat water much faster than aftermarket systems, greatly improving jobsite productivity. Efficient systems can process more than 5,000 gallons of water per hour, ensuring used water is treated quickly.
Along with providing better treatment capabilities and higher capacities, advanced water treatment systems allow for easier setup, teardown, and transport. Industry-leading OEM options are available in a compact 20-foot container that can be operational in less than four hours, greatly simplifying the entire process and allowing contractors to complete jobs quickly.