Sludge Removal from Ballast Tanks

If you have a barge, ship or tugboat the ballast tanks might need to be cleaned occasionally. Maybe this is pumping out oily sludge or oily wastewater.  Maybe its removing bilge slop or ballast mud. Or perhaps cleaning the oily residue from tank walls.

"Removing the oily residue from a ballast tank requires confined space entry, extensive training, the right equipment and a team you trust in case you need to be rescued," shares Tom Wendler, General Manager of AWS Pennsylvania.

“Removing the oily residue from a ballast tank requires confined space entry, extensive training, the right equipment and a team you trust in case you need to be rescued,” shares Tom Wendler, General Manager of AWS Pennsylvania. (photo courtesy of Pete Markham via Wiki Commons)

The two problems you likely have are:

  1. tight turn-around times to meet your shipping obligations and
  2. very stringent regulations in the proper handling and disposal of your waste.

To help you decide on choosing Advanced Waste Services to perform your ballast tank cleaning, ballast mud disposal and oily wastewater recycling, I’ve shared some details below.

"Because we have a fleet of over 50 vacuum trucks across the midwest, we can pull vacuum trucks for large projects like ballast tank cleaning to make sure we meet our client's deadline," shares Rich McVay, AWS Industrial Services member.

“Because we have a fleet of over 50 vacuum trucks across the midwest, we can pull several vacuum trucks for large projects like ballast tank cleaning to make sure we meet our client’s deadline,” shares Rich McVay, AWS Industrial Services member.

Reducing your turn-around times

Strategic Locations.

Advanced Waste Services operates through the midwest, along the Mississippi River and Great Lakes of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

"We strategically located our facilities for easy access to the Mississippi River and any of the Great Lakes," shares Mike Bowser, AWS Pennsylvania Results Advisor.

“We strategically located our wastewater treatment and marine ballast tank sludge removal services near the Mississippi River and any of the Great Lakes,” shares Mike Bowser, AWS Pennsylvania Results Advisor.

Equipment designed to remove sludge from ballast tanks.

When a ship is at dock, it might be 300 feet or more from the back of the vacuum truck to the sludge inside the ballast tank. This creates the challenge of maintaining enough vacuum pressure or “suction power” to remove the sludge through several hundred feet of hose.

"If you are going to remove the oily sludge from a ship's ballast, you'll need at least a SuperSucker vacuum truck to maintain suction through the vertical pulls," shares Tim McVay, AWS Industrial Services member.

“If you are going to remove the oily sludge from a ship’s ballast, you’ll need at least a SuperSucker vacuum truck to maintain suction through the vertical pulls,” shares Tim McVay, AWS Industrial Services member.

And if there’s a significant vertical pull required, maybe 50 or 60 feet, you’ll need to be strategic in staging vacuum trucks, vac boxes and other equipment. If not, the project might take twice as long as it should since the vacuum trucks won’t be pulling enough vacuum to meet your turn-around deadline.

"When you stage vac boxes and vacuum trucks, you to think about vacuum pressure, but also the fill level within the boxes. Too heavy and you can't haul them away," shares Drew Acklam, AWS Operations Manager.

“When you stage vac boxes and vacuum trucks for a ballast sludge removal project, you have to think about vacuum pressure, but also the fill level within the boxes. Too heavy and you can’t haul them away,” shares Drew Acklam, AWS Operations Manager.

At Advanced Waste Services, we’ve invested in the best equipment designed for the most rigorous sludge removal projects.  We have over 50 vacuum trucks in our fleet ranging from the straight hi vac, hi-vac tankers, Super Suckers to our in-house design and patented VacSimizer, the Ultimate Vacuum Truck.

Stringent Regulations disposing and recycling your waste

The two types of wastes you are likely to have in the ship’s ballast are oily wastewater and non-hazardous sludges.  Everyday we help businesses safely reclaim the water and oil from oily wastewater.

"In these tanks we crack the oil from the water. The oil is further processed into a reusable product and the water is recycled," shares Mark Kijek AWS Plant Operations member.

“In these tanks we crack the oil from the water. The oil is further processed into a reusable product and the water is recycled,” shares Mark Kijek AWS Plant Operations member.

We have several state of the art oil processing systems that allow us to extract more oil value, helping our clients to better control their costs. Additionally we recycle the water that we extract from the oily wastewater.  [You can read more about our experience with the rebuttable presumption for used oil and recycling oily wastewater here.]

We are fully permitted to process non-hazardous biosolids and sludges.  We’ll perform the necessary testing and waste profiles to confirm your sludge is non-hazardous prior to starting your project. In the event, the sludge is hazardous we will still be able to help you safely dispose according to the regulations concerning your waste.

"You need to clearly understand what a client's expectations are when you perform a tank cleaning. Do they want it so clean they can take a bath in it or just get the sludge out," shares Chris Smiley, AWS Industrial Services member.

“You need to clearly understand what a client’s expectations are when you perform a tank cleaning. Do they want it so clean they can take a bath in it or just get the sludge out,” shares Chris Smiley, AWS Industrial Services member.

You’ll also need a team experience in confined space entry (CSE) tank cleaning. We’ve performed over 2500 CSE projects and have built a reputable team that has the dedication, knowledge and experience to solve the most difficult confined space cleaning project.

To learn more about Advanced Waste Services sludge removal from ballast tanks visit our website or call us at 800-842-9792.

Advanced Waste Services | 800-842-9792

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