Facilitating easy and efficient processing of hydro-excavation waste
We spoke to HUB4 about how although trenchless technology has advanced, and hydro excavation has become a preferred method for the installation of services and pipework in civil engineering, it comes with a burden. The by-product of hydro excavation is slurry, often laden with chemicals, which is difficult to dispose of or reuse responsibly.
Often, the drilling mud is mixed with bentonite, a soft clay which is mixed in because it expands to prevent the collapse of an area during drilling. So, while engineers may benefit from its use, the drilling operators are faced with an onerous waste disposal issue at the end – tons of waste, clay-logged slurry.
Regardless of bentonite use, to dispose of the waterlogged, thick mud and clay is financially prohibitive at a landfill site due to its substantial volume and weight. Furthermore, landfill sites are reluctant to accept this bulky waste. While it can be buried in ponds and fields to dry, this too poses further environmental and legal risks because of its detrimental effect on the land due to possible leaching of hydrocarbons or TPH (total petroleum hydrocarbons). If surrounding land is tested and toxic leaching has damaged the soil, then companies are subject to legal action, which could be ruinous for their business.
None of the above disposal methods allow for extraction of any useful materials in the waste mud that can be re-sold, as per the circular economy practices. However, transporting the drilled mud to bespoke waste treatment sites allows for responsible handling of the slurry and recovery of any recyclable materials in it. This method of waste management is legally safer for the drilling company as well as the environment. HYDRO:TIP is one of CDEnviro’s solutions to facilitate easy and efficient processing of slurry.
HYDRO:TIP utilises high frequency screens to ensure maximum efficiency dewatering and separation of waste material. Because the tankers can directly discharge into HYDRO:TIP, it processes at the fastest rate possible and tanker assets are optimised.
Rapid tanker discharge capability minimises downtime and tankers can be back on the road quickly and on their way to the next location. Additionally, most of the functions are automated, therefore minimal operator input is required, saving on time and cost.