A North American railway that prides itself on environmental responsibility recently worked with an engineering firm to design a new wastewater treatment facility for one of its refueling stations in British Columbia. The design challenge required a careful balance of meeting the railway’s commitment to environmental sustainability, while still being able to operate in severe weather conditions – even temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
A balancing act
Railroad refueling stations often service hundreds of locomotives per day – and it can take 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel to refuel just one locomotive. While preventative and precautionary measures are in place to manage fuel spills, spills do occur. Additionally, when locomotives aren’t in motion, like when they stop to get fuel, they commonly leak oil. Because of these factors, having a collection system in place to manage spills is essential.
Without proper collection systems, spilled fuel and leaking oil can quickly become an issue for railroads – especially from an environmental standpoint. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Canadian Environmental Protection Agency have regulations aimed at preventing the contamination of water and soil during fueling.
With this in mind, the engineering firm knew it needed an effective oil-removal solution that would not only alleviate environmental concerns, but also meet the railway’s unique operational needs.