Used Oil: The Problem:
What is the Problem?
It is estimated that 200 million gallons of motor oil is improperly disposed of each year in the U.S. by being dumped into the ground, tossed in the trash (ending up in landfills), and poured down storm sewers and drains. This is what we, as Americans, experience each year.
What is the Impact?
Improperly disposed of used oil is a potential hazard to the environment. Because of its use as a lubricant, it contains metal traces and other contaminants not found in unused oil. One gallon of used oil can ruin one million gallons of fresh water a year's supply for 50 people. Improperly disposed of oil can adversely effect the environment in many other ways, not to mention the huge potential costs of clean up and site remediation following contamination. Unrecycled oil is a waste of valuable nonrenewable resources. Used oil can be reclaimed and reused. It can be re-refined into various hydrocarbon-based products, and when safely burned it can substitute as a fuel to conserve stocks of virgin oil.
Used Oil: The Solution
Proper handling of used oil is the key to keeping this product out of the environment. It is wise to use the "cradle to grave" theory when evaluating the steps you will take to eliminate the risk of pollution and subsequent clean-up costs and fines.
- The first step is to insure that all used oil generated is safely collected and accounted for.
- The second step is to place this used oil into an approved interim holding tank system while awaiting collection.
- The third step is to insure that a company that is licensed by the authorities in your area to perform his service collects your used oil. These people are aware of how to safely handle and transport your product and have greater options for its end use such as re-refining or controlled incineration, thus minimizing risk to both you and the environment.
H.O.D., Inc.: Playing a Part in the Solution
Our Waste Oil Storage System (WOSS) was developed to assist you in performing step two of the solution. Five years were spent in the development of this safe and reliable contained tank system for the interim storage of used oil and other waste or new petroleum products.
We believe that an educated and informed consumer is a quality customer, so we feel it is important to present you with some facts and details that will assist you in purchasing a quality tank system.
The first thing to look for when evaluating a tank system for your used oil is that it carries an Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.) label. This will help to insure that the tank system you are about to purchase has the approval of your local authorities and has met the following minimum requirements:
- The system has structural integrity of design and materials,
- The system has met the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (N.F.P.A.) in its design and safety features,
- The manufacturer is capable of building the system to U.L. standards, and
- The manufacturer follows a given level of testing and quality control to insure that each system produced meets U.L. standards.
If you have come this far, you are definitely in the right direction, but this is where you are left alone to evaluate probably the most critical aspects of your purchase relative to long-term use.
U.L. does not require that any protective coating be applied to the tank system, thus leaving the responsibility for corrosion protection requirements to the manufacturer or end user. The effective life of a tank system is in direct proportion to the system's ability to withstand the effects of the elements to which it is exposed. We would like to provide you with some food for thought in this area.
All surfaces that are exposed to the elements should be, at a minimum, protected with a high quality coating system. Today's most accepted and used coating for this application would be a two part, high solids epoxy that meets National Standards.
All surfaces should be prepared for coating as per the paint manufacturer's instructions (commercial sandblast, at minimum) and in addition, all joints to be coated should be seal welded along with all sharp corners ground. Additional attention should be paid to high traffic areas and wear points. Galvanized steps and fasteners, stainless steel hinge pins and protective rubber mouldings are all worth considering
One final area to consider is the interior of the primary tank itself. This is the area that is exposed to the liquid contents of your system. Used oil and other used petroleum products are known to contain as much as 33% contaminants consisting of fresh and or salt waters, organics, acids and various other foreign materials. All this accelerates the corrosion process and of course the premature failure of your system. To help fight against this problem, the lining of the tank tends to be your best defense. Again, U.L. has not made this a mandatory requirement but a quality tank manufacturer should be able to provide you with all the information you need to make a sound decision.
Other areas well worth considering:
- Ergonomics: Does it allow easy access to all its functions and does it incorporate additional safety features such as non-slip treads and landings. Simplicity of design tends to work best.
- Aesthetics: A system that looks good in the first place will generally be kept good. Any spilled oil gets cleaned up and liter around the system tends not to collect. Also, a clean well laid out system lets other people know of your concern for the environment.
- Options: Does the manufacturer offer a full product line and enough options to answer your specific needs? Things such as touch-up paint kits and various finish options all assist you in purchasing a quality tank system.
All of this will help to insure that your tank system is more than just "shop door quality" and that your investment will last well into the future.