Coating News, Articles, Industry Resources,

Ecodur 201: Oil Water Seperator Coating


Residential car washing is a major source of pollution which often ends up in streams killing fish and their eggs. Most fish die when detergent concentrations are near 15 parts per million (ppm); however, detergent concentrations as low as 5 ppm will kill fish eggs.

Most North American commercial car washes use 60% less water in the entire washing process than simple home wash uses. Regulations continue to tighten to protect the environment and Sweden is a country that has regulated the practice to the point where most such cleaning is done properly at commercial facilities specially designed to catch the pollutants.

The Swedish Environmental Code regulations even apply when people wash their cars on the street, in the parking lots or garage entrances where contaminated water often ends up in the storm water drain, polluting the nearest stream.

This type of car washing practice is viewed as an environmentally hazardous activity under the Environmental Code. The Swedish regulations stipulate that car/vehicle washing should be done in regulated do-it-yourself installations or in automatic washes where pollution treatment controls are in place.

Here in the US, a study by the City of Federal Way (Washington) found that residential car washing led to the following being released into their storm sewer system: 190 gallons (719 liters) of gasoline, diesel and motor oil, 400 pounds of phosphorus and nitrogen, 60 pounds of ammonia, 2,200 pounds of surfactants and 3,000 pounds of solids. This is the total annual release for community of only 62,000 passenger cars and trucks.

A Stockholm car wash with two oil water separators placed in the garage next to a car wash were both leaking. This required immediate action. The client responded quickly but their problem was how to provide a permanent remedial solution while doing so in the most environmentally benign way possible.

The client, a major Stockholm real estate property company had originally considered using polyurea but realized that Ecodur was much easier to apply and more environmental friendly. Ecodur is made of renewable castor oil and potentially recyclable natural mineral gypsum. It is essentially plasticised gypsum that has no VOCs, no BPA, no solvents, and is completely non-toxic.

The applicator company, Enzymex, prepared the separators by blasting them very lightly. After this they were thoroughly cleaned and dried. The walls were then coated using about 5 gallons for the entire job.

Application Results
Within 24 hours of the final application of Ecodur, the project was given a final inspection and was approved as being fully cured and the separators were cleared for use. Subsequent inspections showed complete integrity with no further leaking.

The client expressed particular satisfaction to the extent to which a ‘green’ protective coating could be both cost-effective and environmentally benign while still giving outstanding protection. As a direct result of this installation 300 square meters of concrete floors are to receive an Ecodur coating for the client.