Three stage separators, or clarifiers, are used for many applications requiring basic filtration before a waste stream can be discharged to a municipal sewer system. The basic concept is that wastewater enters the first chamber where the water is slowed and solids have an opportunity to settle out. The chamber has a downturned pipe going to the second chamber. Since oil, grease and some solids float, they get trapped in the first chamber. The concept behind multiple chambers is that the wastewater has an opportunity to clarify by passing through the chambers in sequence.
Many chambers are made of concrete by pre-cast companies. While concrete separators are effective, they have several distinct disadvantages. First, they are extremely heavy. They can settle over time and cause openings in the concrete surface surrounding them. Second, concrete inevitably cracks over time. When grease and oil escape through these cracks over time, surrounding soil becomes contaminated and ultimately soil remediation is required.
Fiberglass separators are significantly lighter and easier to install. While a concrete unit must be placed as soon as it arrives, fiberglass can be held on-site and easily installed by the on-site contractor. These units can be placed in a drive-on situation with the appropriate lids, they can be placed in protected areas, or they can be placed above ground. Using them above ground is a distinct advantage over concrete. For leased facilities where the separator may be moved at a later time is beneficial.
All separators must be pumped out periodically to remove solids, grease, and oil. Accessing fiberglass separators is generally easier and more time efficient.
ClearBlu also offers above ground separators for cleaning solids and separating free grease and oil. This method is more expensive but can reduce operating costs by up to 90%.
Based on your location, budget, and needs, ClearBlu can help you decide which filtration system is best for you. Contact us to talk to a representative about your needs!