Filtration Experts Exhibit How Wastewater Solution to Hydro Blasting Run-Off Sludge for Bridge and Highway Repairs Saves Significantly on Costs

Blog | July 16, 2020

Wastewater CO2 Treatment (pH Neutralization) On-Site At Bridge and Highway Repairs

When the road surface of a highway or bridge is damaged beyond a certain point, it is necessary to remove the entire top layer and build it anew. But hydro blasting this layer creates a sludge high in alkalinity which cannot be disposed of in open waterways. The common response is to have this wastewater driven off site for treatment elsewhere, a time-consuming and costly expense. But Rain for Rent’s pH treatment solutions remove this altogether, ensuring the wastewater is filtered, neutralized on site to reduce its pH level, and returned for use in the hydro blasters.

CO2 Treatment Needed More than Ever

The network of bridges across the United States was once a point of pride, seen as a symbol of westward expansion and the rise of the automobile. Today, it is a real concern with 26 percent of all bridges listed as either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Yet more have road surface problems such as potholes and cracks, often hastily repaired. In 2019, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association estimated that fully repairing the nation’s bridges would cost around $171 billion. The cost for highway repair is even higher.

Additionally, repairing the surface of a bridge or highway can be extremely challenging, with limited access, disruption to traffic, and few water resources. Finding efficient ways to cut down on costs and time while improving the speed of repairs is critical. Smart liquid management is a smart way to do both.

When hydro blasting the top layer of a roadway down to the rebar level, how to handle the run-off sludge is a major issue. Its high alkalinity means it cannot be discharged into open waterways. Removing it from the site requires a long line of trucks driving back and forth to the site. The best option is to deploy a mixture of pH neutralization and CO2 treatment solutions to save on cost.

This is where Rain for Rent comes in.

Filtration Solutions Help Drive Down Costs of Concrete Revitalization Projects

Our water handling solution and pH neutralization systems allow for the wastewater to be captured, treated with CO2, filtered and re-used, all on-site. This generates significant economic benefits for concrete revitalization projects. It’s also much safer and environmentally friendlier than trucking the wastewater off site, or treating the high pH sludge with acid.

The long lines of trucks taking contaminated water off-site are no longer required. This takes care of one of the major headaches and expenditures of bridge and highway repair. Instead, a vacuum truck comes periodically to remove sludge deposited in the weir tanks.

Each step of this process, from pH neutralization and filtration to wastewater transfer, is designed to ensure everything can be handled at the job site. Before operations start, Rain for Rent provides all the components and equipment needed, including a controller trailer, the pumping system, the filters and the tanks. All this equipment remains on-site, as well as any spare parts to prevent any downtime or delays, allowing Rain for Rent’s treatment solutions to be deployed anywhere they may be needed.


Better Applications for Bridge and Highway Repair

The process begins with hydro blasters removing the top layer of concrete being fed with a water supply pumped from the clean water tank. To ensure the sludge does not become a source of contamination, a series of weirs holding up to 18,100 gallons of water are incorporated where heavier contaminants settle. The water then moves into Rain for Rent’s pH neutralization systems.

This water handling solution creates a loop from the water entering the system through to the initial pH test, the CO2 injection, and a second test to achieve the ideal alkalinity levels for reuse. The first pH level test is administered to determine the alkalinity of the water with a discharge goal of between 7 and 8 pH. This initial test helps our team understand how much treatment the wastewater is likely to need.

pH Testing and Equipment Dial in Final Stages of the Process for Produced and Makeup Water

Carbon dioxide gas is then added to the water to create carbonic acid, naturally lowering the alkalinity. After this, another pH test is delivered to verify if the desired discharge goal has been achieved. If the pH is still too high, the water goes back to the weir tanks and the process begins again. But if it remains between 7 and 8 pH, the wastewater transfer takes place through both bag and cartridge filters and stored in frac tanks until it needs to be re-used.

When hydro blasters are ready to use the water, it undergoes a final round of polishing through yet more filters to ensure no contaminants remain. Makeup water can be added to the system from an additional source to alleviate losses from evaporation and typical operations. This supply can be incorporated into the Rain for Rent pH adjustment system.

Rain for Rent’s range of instrumentation can also provide an extra layer of support and security at any site, including audio and visual alerts, to control water flows or pH levels.

Rain for Rent’s pH neutralization services ensure peace of mind when it comes to liquid management during a major bridge or highway repair. It has proven this effectiveness on major sites in the United States, including the Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge in Rhode Island.

Read more about Rain for Rent’s case studies here 

Convinced yet? Contact Rain for Rent’s pH balancing experts for final guidance and advice about how our wastewater treatment with CO2 solutions can help you.

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