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Overcoming Environmental Challenges for Rental Companies
Last week, I got to sit down with Donald Charbonnet to discuss the environmental challenges rental equipment companies are facing today. Let’s face it, if you have equipment to wash, that also means you have wastewater to treat and regulations to comply with.
If this applies to you, listen in to the recorded show below to get a heads up on several key topics you need to be aware of to make sure your wastewater treatment system is running properly and remains compliant.
Listen to the Show:
What are some of the most common challenges rental companies face when it comes to environmental compliance?
Every rental company faces environmental challenges when it comes to their cleaning process. But often times, cleaning the equipment is the easiest part.
We’ve found that managers are often so busy with the “day-to-day”, that they really do not know where to begin with making sure their setup is compliant. “Where should I discharge my wastewater…a sewer…a ditch?” These are the types of questions we commonly encounter, where they may not not even know who to ask about these important questions…much less know how to navigate the bureaucracy that can take up some serious time. So, the question of, “What do I do with my water” is certainly at the top of the list of challenges rental companies have to solve.
Moving forward into the design process of a company’s wastewater treatment system, many additional challenges can arrive if you have not properly planned out your pre-treatment process. This step is extremely important to consider and can save you from a maintenance nightmare down the road. Getting as much of the solids and contaminants out of the water before it’s actually treated, usually through sumps and settling pits, will make your entire process more efficient and effective.
At a rental facility, there are usually two main safety exposures you have to deal with. Behind physically driving tractor-trailers out on the road, the wash rack is your biggest safety concern.
Over time, most rental facilities are generating thousands of gallons of wastewater. If the wastewater is going into the ground or being discharged in the wrong area, you (and your land owner) could face serious repercussions from the Department of Environment Quality.
Usually when evaluations take place at a facility, the wash rack is one of the first places seen, along with any fuel areas. This is why we always advise companies that are moving onto a new piece of property to have evaluations and testing done to make the previous owner’s problems do not become your problem.
How do I know what kind of wash equipment I need?
We have worked with many different companies and industries, ranging from oil drilling companies, mud drilling companies, rental providers, heavy equipment, etc. Almost none of them have the same wastewater treatment setup.
Some companies are able to get by with a 10’x10′ wash rack cleaning valves, while others require intensive design to include sumps as big as swimming pools – it really depends on what you are washing. This is why the evaluation process is so important to be done by a professional to be able to look at the whole picture for your business, and be able to anticipate future issues.
Is it better to own or lease wastewater treatment equipment?
This is another area that is going to be specific to the facility. Some of the questions you should ask to find the best solution are, “How long will I be on this property?”, “How much do I have to invest in equipment and building?”, “Do I own the property?”, and if not, “What are the lease terms?”.
The industry is really moving more toward portable wash systems, especially in cases where you are on a temporary job site, or need to wash equipment at a remote location.
Where is the best place to place my wash rack?
We usually like to place the wash rack as far away from the facility as possible. This limits the amount of contamination that could be tracked inside the facility.
Another tips is to always place the wash rack on the highest part of the land, whenever possible. This will prevent rain water and other waste from draining into the wash rack.
What are the main causes of maintenance issues with wastewater treatment systems?
Unfortunately, we have seen where companies have moved into a new area quickly and are forced to setup their cleaning process too quickly.
If you have not taken the time to plan for all potential issues, costs and maintenance, you are setting yourself up for a big headache down the road. I’ll also mention again the importance of having a solid pre-treatment setup, as this can help alleviate a lot of maintenance issues.
How does Evans Equipment & Environmental service the rental equipment industry?
What sets our company apart as a turn-key provider is the ability to manage and implement this entire wastewater treatment process from end to end.
Rather than purely sell you treatment systems and equipment, we can design a system that works for your unique business, handle the construction ourselves, permitting, and also provide consulting for communicating with local and state municipalities regarding regulations.