There’s no doubt about it, hydrodemolition requires water. The question is: what to do with the water once it has been used?
While our unique ultra high pressure methods use about half (50%) as much water as our competitors, consumption can still range between 8,000 to 30,000 gallons per day–depending upon the scale of the project and the number and types of pumps deployed.
Once the water is expended it cannot be discharged to any waterway, wetland, river or stream within the United States. However, following removal of the suspended material the water may be discharged to the ground for absorption and evaporation or discharged to a sanitary system.
Rampart Hydro recovers and controls water in one of two ways, either with:
- Vacuum equipment or
- Gravity-based retention streams and pools
Almost all the images above show a gravity-based system at one job site.
Our TracVacs, BlasterVacs, and vacuum trucks capture about 95% of the water used in either hydrodeomolition or surface cleaning. In fact, our vacuum tractors and blaster vacs remove the spent water (and associated debris) only inches away from where it is sprayed. We call it dry-hydrodemolition, it keeps everything but the immediate work area dry.
Rampart offers vacuum services in conjunction with and independent of hydrodemolition and surface cleaning services.
Retention systems are another alternative to water control. They use gravity to capture water–in barrels or in pooling areas after it travels down carefully-designed paths.
The system employed depends upon a variety of factors, including terrain, space, and proximity other structures and people.
Bridges and Highways
For bridge repair and rehabilitation work or highway reconstruction, we often direct water to settling tanks or ponds formed at either end of the bridge. Often, K-rails or Jersey barriers covered with plastic sheets are used to create settling ponds where the suspended solids leave before the water leaves.
In certain cases, we are able to filter and discharge water into ditches along the roadway where–once filtered–it will be absorbed harmlessly into the ground. When necessary, we create a series of dams or berms, using hay bales or filter fabric and gravel. The dams allow both settling and filtration.
Parking Garage Restoration
Usually parking garages are located in residential or commercial areas; so, the water must be contained within the structure.
Vacuuming works best, but when retention is used, an area must be established on the lowest level or slab and on a grade of the structure where the weight (of the water) can be handled.
To meet environmental regulations discharge requirements it may be necessary to reduce the pH. A typical wastewater handling system within a structure consists of a settling tank, a filter box and pH adjusting equipment. Rampart uses CO2 to reduce the pH. It is not hazardous and is easily injected into the wastewater. Moreover, it will not acidify the water if too much is added, and it is safer to handle than muriatic or sulfuric acid.
Large water settling areas can be constructed using plywood, form-work materials, shoring or the structure’s columns and walls. All the wastewater including the wash water can be directed to this location. Once the work is complete the clear surface water can be pumped from the settling tanks and the slurry removed, dried and disposed.