Management of tank washings in marine and coastal commerce.
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A one-year project sponsored by the National Sea Grant College program was directed towards developing a management plan for treating and disposing of tank-cleaning wastes from barge-cleaning facilities. The study was limited to shipyards along the Texas Gulf Coast and was accomplished through a combined field survey program and laboratory effort. The majority of the background information was obtained from companies engaged in tank-cleaning, companies treating the wastewater and personnel involved in regulating tank-cleaning activities. Presently the ten commercial companies who engage heavily in barge-cleaning activities in Texas generate between 75 and 100 million gallons of wastewater per year. Although the quantity of wastewater is relatively small compared to many other industries in the States, it is significant because of the poor quality of the wastewater and location of the cleaning companies along the major waterways of the Gulf Coast. Pollution potential from this type of wastewater is high due to oil, dissolved organic material, and extreme variations of pH. Wastewater characteristics and present treatment methods are discussed from the results of the field and laboratory effort. A proposed system is presented designed to adequately treat the wastewater and enhance the water quality of the Texas Gulf Coast.