NEG Recovery Program


The Water Recovery Process consists of four steps: Isolation, Collection, Transportation and Elimination.


It has been our experience that in order to pick up the waste water, it first has to be directed to a point of containment using booms/berms or dikes. Other common equipment used for isolation might be portable containment areas/mats, weighted storm drain covers, or inflatable plumber’s plugs. Drain seals are extremely critical to a successful recovery operation. These seals have themselves evolved from simple rubber mats to a custom sized, pliable latex formula. These mats completely seal off storm drains, eliminating the possibility of contaminated water entering the sewers and waterways.


Once contained, waste water has to be physically removed from the area. In the early days of development, waste water was picked up by electric sump pumps, but these required generators and lengths of cable that proved unsafe in the wet washing conditions. Research has brought us new technology used by the carpet cleaning industry: a high powered air blower used to create suction in a vacuum tank.
Our current system is based on this technology. It allows us to use up to 400 feet of hose if necessary, and is powerful enough to keep up with four separate pressure washers. This vacuum system is mounted in the same vehicle as the pressure washer and the two processes are fully integrated.


The vacuum system collects all the waste water in the recovery tank. Tank vehicles have a separate vacuum system to add to the effectiveness of the system, they are capable of recovery on their own. All waste tanks are sealed and locked to prevent spilling or unauthorized dumping. Only supervisors and operations managers have the authority to dispose of the materials collected in these tanks. Supervisors operate the tank vehicles and collect the waste water from different sites in addition to inspecting the work quality. Supervisors are held personally responsible for unauthorized releases of waste water. The cost of transportation is greatly reduced since the wash vehicle is also the transport vehicle. This vehicle has to return to our facility at day’s end and then the waste water is dumped and treated for elimination.


The final step in the total recovery process is elimination, the most important and most difficult part of the process.
Although isolation, collection and transportation of waste water can be accomplished through a series of different processes, the proper final elimination is the most critical process and is usually the one where mistakes take place. With numerous years of experience with waste water removal if have perfected a process to avoid any mishaps.
The most critical issue is the permit and meeting all the required parameters that makes it legal to discharge to sanitary. Each municipality has a different sewer plant and each plant writes its own rules and regulations. Different tests are routine and are easily met with the correct filters and oil absorbing media in the right place. The difficult tests are those that have recently emerged, as sewer authorities also become more sophisticated. The new tests include: Dissolved Sulfides, Cyanide, Chloroform, Sodium, and Benzene. Last but not least, many authorities are adding metals to their list of unlawful discharges. These metals include: Arsenic, Boron, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Silver and Zinc to name a few.

Metals like Lead and Zinc are often found in incoming drinking water at levels higher than allowed at some sewer discharge levels. Metals such as Cadmium and Zinc are often found in vehicle cleaning compounds in levels over the acceptable discharge levels. The process that is used to remove these metals from the waste water is called flocculation. Chemicals are added to the system and agitated. After a period of time, solids drop out of the solution and the “clean” effluent is discharged in batches. The sludge that is generated here is classified as non-hazardous and is drummed for legal disposal. This process is time consuming, costly and labor intensive. This process does work and is presently in use at all of our facilities.

Sewer authorities are becoming stricter in order to meet guidelines placed on them by the Federal Government. Many sewer authorities sell the sludge’s they generate as landfills and fertilizers, and must meet stringent Federal Regulations.

Customers have asked us to use existing drains (such as floor drains) on their property for the elimination of their waste, but the only drains our operators are directed to use are either facility drains or a customer that has a valid sanitary discharge permit of its own with their own treatment plant. Floor drains that are connected to oily-water separators are often mistaken for acceptable dump sites, but they are not acceptable. Oily-water separators were designed to do just what their name says, separate oil from water; however, truck cleaning involves soap or detergent besides oil and water. This dumping is in fact illegal and violators can be cited with felony charges.