It’s easy to see why concrete repair contractors are turning more and more to robotic Hydrodemolition. The method provides fast, safe and efficient concrete removal. Technological advances have made Hydrodemolition machines more versatile, more compact and more durable. But, as governing bodies and project managers step up environmental regulations to protect communities and ecosystems, one important question remains — “What do you do with the wastewater?”
Previously, methods to treat wastewater on site were inefficient, took up too much space, or were simply unavailable, requiring operators to hire third-party contractors to manage the process. 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, many Hydrodemolition contractors have turned to Aquajet for an on-site treatment solution.
The EcoClear, paired with a collection system, provides the best of both worlds — the efficiency of Hydrodemolition with reliable, cost-effective water treatment to reduce pH levels and turbidity so that it can be safely reused by the machine or released back into the environment. All necessary instruments and components, including controls, mixers and dosing systems, are integrated into a 20-foot unit that is easy to transport and takes up minimal space on crowded jobsites. The machine works with Aquajet’s full line of Hydrodemolition robots — including the Aqua Cutter 410V and 710V models — and allows contractors to treat wastewater onsite and in real time, maximizing efficiency while maintaining an environmentally sound jobsite.
Collection is the first step to the cleaning process. Before beginning a project, contractors need to set up a wastewater capture system. The method of capture depends on the project, but typically involves damming up and guiding the water to a holding area where it can be collected and treated.
Next, the EcoClear goes to work, pumping collected water into an inlet chamber (#1), where a flocculating agent is automatically added to help clump the particles in the water. The water then flows into a second chamber (#2) that introduces carbon dioxide to neutralize the pH. In the next chamber (#3), the floc, or solid particles, settles into a storage hopper and is removed by the integrated pump. The water continues to another chamber (#4) for a second pH adjustment. A final monitoring tank (#6) confirms the water pH has returned to the desired set point before it’s discharged.
Optical turbidity sensors and pH probes continuously monitor and record the water quality to ensure only clean water is discharged. If the water does not meet set limits, the feed pump automatically shuts down to prevent dirty water from escaping. The water then starts to recirculate until it meets the preset values of pH and turbidity.
The EcoClear system can move as much as about 88 gpm, or about 5,283 gallons (20 cubic meters) per hour, ensuring used water is treated quickly.
One of the key differences that sets the EcoClear apart from other OEM and advanced water treatment systems is the use of carbon dioxide, rather than mineral acid, to reduce pH levels.
Handling any acid requires special training and PPE. There is also a risk of acidifying water if acid levels are not precisely calculated.
CO2, on the other hand, makes it virtually impossible to acidify the water. This method doesn’t leave any hazardous byproducts, either.
For bottom-line-conscious contractors, CO2 also has another advantage over other OEM systems. CO2 is four to eight times less expensive than commonly used acids for pH reduction for a cost of about $0.01 per treated gallon of water. This does not factor in electric supply, maintenance costs or initial investment, but over the lifetime of the machine, it provides significant savings over third-party options and other OEM equipment.
In the end, though, it’s not only about what you can do, but what you can prove. Government agencies and project managers require documentation. That’s why the EcoClear provides detailed, real-time data through the RECO control system. This information can be shared with project stakeholders to provide insight to the properties of the discharged water, including pH levels and the amount of water that was treated.
As Hydrodemolition contractors look to remain competitive amid fluctuating environmental regulations, partnering with a cutting-edge manufacturer can provide a compact, cost-effective solution that increases sustainability — with the documentation to back it all up.
Learn how adding an EcoClear to your fleet can open up even more opportunities. Contact Aquajet today.
>> Read more about the Ecoclear and the Reco control system.