FAQ

 

System Information

Environmental Concerns

How do VANISH systems work?

Almost all VANISH system operations are controlled by the systems’ PLC (programmable logic controller). The PLC starts and stops pumps, monitors the treatment process and its LED screen displays instructions if the operator must perform a manual task, e.g. open or close a valve.

The chemical treatment process used by the VANISH is called flocculation. The process is not new. Flocculation chemistry has been used successfully for decades worldwide. Clean Marine Solutions adjusts the chemistry and the process to meet the requirements of our customers.

Whether washing boats, industrial equipment or aircraft – the VANISH is the Solution.

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Process Description

At the push of the AUTO button the VANISH 355 system’s sump pump is activated. If water is detected in the sump, the raw wastewater is pumped into the 500 gallon buffer tank. The PLC and level sensors prevent the tanks from overflowing.

As the Buffer System fills, the raw wastewater is transferred to the treatment tank.

When the Treatment System reaches capacity, a mixer activates to stir the wastewater. The VANISH uses three chemicals:a pH raiser and two treatment polymers. Each is easily prepared on-site using pre-measured concentrates. There is a chemical dosing pump for each chemical. Pumps are controlled by the PLC to precisely dispense chemicals in the proper sequence.

While the wastewater is stirring, the pH probe monitors pH throughout the treatment process. If the pH is lower than required, dilute sodium hydroxide is precisely added to raise the pH to the optimum level for removal of metals.

An Ultra-sonic Water Level Sensor senses the quantity of wastewater and the PLC calculates the precise amount of the two polymers to be added.

Once the wastewater has been treated with the appropriate amount of chemicals and thoroughly mixed; the mixer will cutoff. The particulate immediately begins to settle to the bottom of the cone- bottom tank. A light comes on to signal that the solids have settled and can the clarified water can be transferred.

After the particulate has settled, the Treatment System automatically transfers the clarified water to the Recycle System.

The VANISH Recycling System’s 500 gallon tank stores the clarified water until needed. The systems delivers pressurized water directly to a powerwasher or to the facilities designated recycle plumbing piping.

The clarified water in the recycle tank is periodically cycled through an Ultraviolet Water purifier. The UV Purifier contains a germicidal ultraviolet lamp that produces short wave radiation lethal to bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms present in water.

In addition to UV treatment, a chemical disinfectant is dispensed through a floating dispenser.

The sludge is periodically drained from the bottom of the Treatment System’s cone-bottomed tank and dewatered by manually pouring through a filter. After dewatering, the sludge is set out to dry on a pad provided with the system.

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How many gallons of wastewater can be treated per day?

Treat rates begin at 1,000 gallons per day and go higher.
The VANISH 300 can treat about 1,000 gallons per day.
The VANISH 555 can treat about 3,000 gallons per day.
Custom systems are available if more treatment capacity is required.

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What are the approximate supply (filters and chemicals) costs to treat a gallon of wastewater?

If you send us a sample of your wastewater; we can provide a very close estimate.
Supply costs vary from 1 to 3 cents per gallon depending on the quantity ordered.
(*Like all commodities, chemical costs will fluctuate)

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Is it true that some recycle systems will get increased scrutiny from environmental compliance authorities because of their inability to reduce heavy metal content to acceptable levels?

Yes. There is growing concern from environmental compliance authorities that the heavy-metal concentrations in some recycling systems are too high. Some systems on the market are simply not designed to remove dissolved metals to the extent necessary for easy compliance.

Buying a recycle system that has been designed in anticipation of tougher standards is the best choice.

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How is the precipitate disposed of in an environmentally friendly way?

The metals and particulates settle to the bottom of the cone-bottomed treatment tank. The operator opens a valve and the sludge is drained through a dewatering filter. After dewatering, the sludge is set on a pad provided to dry.

Many municipalities will permit the disposal of the dry precipitate as a non-hazardous waste, which means it may be permissible to dispose of the precipitate along with other yard trash.

Landfill managers typically ask for a TCLIP test (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure). This test shows how much of the compounds of concern in the dried precipitate will leach out into the landfill.

The VANISH process binds the heavy metals in the dried particulate to a degree that leaching is not typically a concern. Contact us and we will send TCLIP test results to your landfill operator to see if they will accept the precipitate.

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Can the treated wastewater be discharged to the sewer?

In some jurisdictions, a permit may be granted to dispose of the clarified wastewater into the municipal sewer. Clean Marine Solutions will be glad to review the wastewater quality standards in your area. The effluent (clarified wastewater leaving the treatment tank) from the VANISH systems will very likely meet the technical standards for discharge to sewer. Many municipalities water systems deliver water to homes with more copper than is typically found in the VANISH effluent.

But an increasing number of municipalities do not allow any industrial wastewater to be deposed of through their sewer system, And municipalities that do allow discharge to sewer may make permitting so difficult and costly that the better option is to recycle.

If the customer receives approval to discharge to sewer, there is usually no need to kill micro-organisms. In this case, the VANISH Recycle System with water purifying components are an unnecessary expense.

If discharge to the sewer is ever prohibited, our recycling components easily connect to the treatment system.

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I hear that in some systems the recycled water soon begins to smell awful. How do VANISH systems control odor?

Our Ultraviolet Zap™ Processed Water Purification System is a hospital grade ultraviolet purification system. Virtually all microorganisms are susceptible to ultraviolet disinfection. Ultraviolet water purification has become well established as the method of choice for effective and economical water disinfection in the hospital and the food processing industries. In addition, a small quantity of bromine disinfectant is added. The wastewater is periodically recirculated through the whole disinfectant system to prevent microorganisms from developing.

Our UV and chemical disinfectant systems leaves you assured that your personnel are powerwashing safely with highly purified water.

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What about service?

Take a close look at the VANISH system. You will see that many of the components (tanks, pumps, basic plumbing valves and motors) can be serviced by your staff. The electronic components are similar to marine electronic components – if a component goes bad, unplug it and plug in the new one.

Our technical staff is available 24 / 7.

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Is it hard to prepare and mix the chemicals?

No. Clean Marine Solutions provides chemicals in pre-measured quantities. We also provide a graduated 5-gallon mixing bucket for each of the three chemicals.

Let’s take the cationic solution for example. The operator simply empties the cationic container into the 5- gallon cationic mixing bucket and adds tap water to the mark indicated on the bucket and stirs.

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Does CMS offer set-up and training?

Training and setup are typically not needed – but it is an available option.

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Will Clean Marine Solutions help with environmental compliance permitting if it is required?

Yes. We have a lot of experience with environmental regulating authorities. We have answers to most questions and certified test results we will share with your compliance regulators.

Environmental compliance authorities came to observe a VANISH 300 installed in June of 2010. The boatyard was granted unprecedented fast-track permitting. This saved the yard thousands of dollars because they did not have to incur the high costs associated with the full permitting process. Even greater savings were realized because they were not required to have a licensed wastewater operator on staff. Clean Marine Solutions’ Powerwash Wastewater Recycle Compliance Template may save you many compliance headaches.*

*Note: We cannot guarantee that your marine service facility will be granted fast-track permitting. Standards change per locale.

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Does Clean Marine Solutions offer customization?

Yes. One size does not fit all. We do not want you to buy any components that you do not need.

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What are the concerns about wastewater generated from power-washing boats?

The greatest concern about powerwash wastewater is the amount and toxicity of heavy metals released into our waterways.

Anti-fouling paints on boat bottoms contain heavy metals. The heavy metal most common used is copper in the form of cuprous oxide. Copper is a biocide that prevents marine life from attaching to boat bottoms. Anti-fouling paints are good for the environment in the role of significantly decreasing fuel consumption and green house gas emissions by reducing hull drag.

The problem is that heavy metals, even in very low concentrations are toxic to marine life. When a boat is powerwashed, the wastewater generated contains a very high concentration of copper and other heavy metals.

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How much toxic copper and other heavy metal does power-wash wastewater contain?

A study by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality found that average marine powerwash wastewater contains 207,000 ppb (parts per billion) of copper. Under the Federal Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency sets water quality standards for all contaminants discharged to surface waters. The CWA limit for copper discharge is 3 ppb copper in wastewater discharged to surface waters.

If your facility is allowing bottom-wash wastewater to flow into waterways, you could be violating the Federal Clean Water Act copper limit by a factor of 69,000.

Allowing the wastewater to flow onto your property is not a viable solution. The heavy metals will likely be washed into adjacent waterways every time there is a heavy rain. Most state environmental regulatory authorities require testing of stormwater.

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What is the negative effect on marine life?

Oysters, clams, and mussels bio-accumulate copper. Mollusks can take copper in but they cannot metabolize it. Reproduction and thus harvesting yields are negatively impacted.

The negative effect on the overall environment bio-magnifies, meaning the initial negative effect multiplies. For example, oysters improve water quality as they filter the water for their food. An adult oyster can filter as much as 50 gallons of water a day. They are very good at filtering and converting nitrates from fertilizer run-off into harmless insoluble pellets.

Whole bays have been cleaned by seeding oysters in lifeless waters. When heavy metals accumulate in mollusks and their filtration system is impaired, water quality diminishes because the mollusks become inefficient in filtering the water. In addition, because mollusks are primary producers on the food chain, heavy metals concentrate as they move up the food chain to other species.

With heavy-metal pollution we are killing a wonderful creature that works 24 / 7 to clean our water as well as creating a long-term economic negative impact on sea-life, boating, fishing and tourism.

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By simply recycling powerwash wastewater – your marina can have a significant positive impact on the health of marine life and waterways. Isn’t it time to go green?

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