A refinery with an activated sludge wastewater treatment plant uses frac tanks to store and equalize waste streams that are potentially toxic to the plant biomass, including wastes from tank and equipment cleanings, and off-spec materials from the refining process. Limited options are available for disposing of these wastes.
The most cost-effective option is to treat the waste using the refinery’s wastewater treatment process, but this can be challenging, as excessive discharge rates could cause toxic upsets. Alternatively, frac tank waste can be collected and disposed by a waste management contractor, but this has a significantly higher cost.
By routinely using LuminUltra’s 2nd Generation ATP® test to assess the toxicity of the frac tank waste, operators quickly determined the optimum disposal flow rate to treat the waste onsite while maintaining treatment process performance. This can save >$10,000 per tank in disposal fees by avoiding off-site treatment by a waste management contractor.