Environmental Concerns

Solved by the VANISH System

Environmental Concerns


Why is wastewater generated from power-washing boats and heavy equipment often considered toxic?

One of the problems is the high concentration of metals in the wastewater. Copper is a biocide in anti-fouling paint that prevents marine life from attaching to boat bottoms. Other metals common to industrial wastewater are Iron, Zinc, Aluminum, Lead, Nickel, Chromium, Arsenic, Cadmium and Mercury.

Metals, even in very low concentrations are very toxic to marine life. Metals kill mollusks like oysters, clams and mussels. Mollusks can take copper in but they cannot metabolize it.

Ironically, an adult oyster can filter 60-gallons of water a day. The filtration removes metals in the water to its own demise. Whole bays have been cleaned by seeding oysters in lifeless waters.
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.

To make matters worse mollusks bio-accumulate metals. The metals go right up the food chain. Elevated levels of metals are now found in sea grasses and waterfowl.

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. The EPA conducted a study of the level of toxins in the sediments around boatyards and marinas. They concluded that they were unacceptably high.

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?

How Does The VANISH System Help?

Clean Marine Solutions VANISH Systems remove copper and other target toxic metals to below the EPA’ threshold for drinking water. The precipitated metals are bound up by our proprietary chemicals and the dried particulate is non-hazardous.

Raw Boatwash wastewater in the VANISH system treatment tank. As treatment begins, toxins fall in clumps to the bottom of the tank.

Sample of clarified water from the
VANISH System taken during a 2010
demonstration to the North Carolina
Division of Water Resources
compliance officers.

Dried sludge is non-toxic and can safely
be disposed with other yard waste.
(Verify with your landfill, CMS will
provide certified tests results.
The results prove that metals are bound
in the particulate and will not leach
into the landfill.

Helpful Links

For a comprehensive study of how harmful Heavy Metals are to marine life. Go to the Journal of Chemistry link here.

Watch this incredible video of oysters cleaning black wastewater

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