Good Housekeeping

Good housekeeping can play an important role in reducing unnecessary flows that must be treated downstream. Good housekeeping practises include minimizing waste when sampling product lines; shutting off washdown hoses when not in use; having a good maintenance program to keep the refinery as leakproof as possible; and individually treating waste streams with special characteristics, such as spent cleaning solutions [35].

Many more things can be done; here are just a few. The use of dry cleaning, without chemicals, aids in reducing water discharges to the sewer. Using vacuum trucks to clean up spills, then charging this recovered material to slop oil tanks, reduces the discharge of both oil and water to the wastewater system. Process units should be curbed to prevent the contamination of clean runoff with oily storm runoff and to prevent spills from spreading widely. Sewers should be flushed regularly to prevent the buildup of material, eliminating sudden surges of pollutants during heavy rains. Collection vessels should be provided whenever maintenance is performed on liquid processing units, to prevent accidental discharges to the sewers.

Housekeeping practises within a refinery can have substantial impact on the loads discharged to the wastewater facilities. Knowlton [36] reported how source control by good housekeeping helped a Chevron refinery meet new NPDES permit requirements. Good housekeeping practises to reduce wastewater loads require judicious planning, organization, and operational philosophy. They also require good communication and education for all personnel involved. A refinery newsletter is a good tool to communicate and educate refinery personnel on pollution control issues.

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