Oil Water Separators Maintenance


An oil water separator, or petrol interceptor as it is also known, is a device designed to separate large amounts of oil and suspended solids from wastewater effluents.

It is an essential piece of equipment that prevents hydrocarbons from entering our water systems and enables individuals and businesses to meet their obligations under the Government’s Groundwater Regulations.

Avoid Harming the Environment

Accidental pollution can have a truly detrimental effect on the environment, and your business. Once hazardous substances pollute groundwater, they can be incredibly difficult and hugely expensive to clean up. To avoid this, we work hard with you to prevent it.

The legal definition of hazardous substances found in the Water Framework Directive is: “Substances or groups of substances that are toxic, persistent and liable to bio-accumulate and other substances or groups of substances that give rise to an equivalent level of concern”. These can include pesticides, oils, grease, fuels, solvents, arsenic, mercury and chromium VI.

Groundwater (England and Wales) Regulations 2009

Meeting the obligations of the Groundwater (England and Wales) Regulations (England and Wales)  is non-negotiable. The regulations state that hazardous substances must not be released into groundwater. In addition, to avoid pollution, the release of specific non-hazardous materials must also be limited.  

If you’re carrying out an activity which could affect the quality or quantity of groundwater, you’ll need to understand what groundwater is, and how your actions may affect it. The legal definition of groundwater is: ‘All water which is below the surface of the ground in the saturation zone and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil.’

Plenty of advice is available to help you understand this complex subject, especially from the Government. However, rather than getting overwhelmed by information, feel free to contact us and use our years of experience and knowledge to guide you through.   

Prevent Groundwater Pollution

Regular maintenance of your oil water separator will significantly reduce the risk of groundwater pollution caused by leaks and discharges,often known as point source pollution.

These are usually events in isolation, with a clear link to contamination. Diffuse pollution is often the result of cumulative impacts of small, undefined pollution events and general environmental pollution spread over a catchment area. Once polluted, groundwater may take years to clean up.

Avoid Unnecessary Costs and Fines

Oil water separators are often in areas where the potential for contamination via rain runoff is highest. They use a combination of pumps, gravity separation and filters to remove oil droplets and sludge, and to output ‘pure’ water.

Within the separator tool (coalescer) oil skimmers can help to speed up this process. They are highly efficient filtration systems, which provide effluent cleanliness down to parts per billion.

However, if not regularly and expertly maintained, they become ‘clogged up’ and ineffective, creating a risk of groundwater pollution. It’s then far more difficult and expensive to rectify.

The Environment Agency recommends regular maintenance, and it makes financial sense. Repairs are almost always more cost-effective than replacements, so looking after your equipment is essential. And a regular maintenance contract with AES Rewinds will also help avoid the groundwater pollution that leads to costly fines.

Peace of Mind with AES Rewinds

We want to give you peace of mind that you’re working in accordance with legal guidelines. Therefore, to ensure compliance, regular maintenance to keep your oil water separator in full working order is essential.

Tailored Maintenance Packages

As with all other equipment, we can provide you with a tailored package of maintenance for your oil water separator. 

Your bespoke contract will include 24/7 access to some of the best engineers in the business. We will address your individual maintenance needs so you can get on with the business of – well, running your business!

We hold accreditations from CHASSafeContractor and Prosure360 so you can rely on us to provide you with the best possible solutions. 

We’re here if you have concerns about your oil water separator or want to minimise the risk of future problems. And if you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.