What Are Oil Interceptors?

While the drains on our properties work constantly to keep our water flowing and our waste away from where it’s not wanted, there are many different components and processes at play that keep everything running smoothly. One such component for certain environments is oil interceptors.

Oil Interceptors are installed on commercial and industrial sites, as well as car parks and car washes, to prevent the mixing of water with oil and/or petrol. Oil from leaking vehicles, accidental spills and other potential spillages that enters the drains/drainage systems will cause serious environmental issues including damage to natural habitats resulting in loss of natural wildlife population and pollution which may result in fines being issued by the Environment Agency (EA).

How do they work?

The primary function is to separate oil from water. Interceptors work by trapping rainwater runoff from surfaces where oil is present – by trapping this runoff, they ensure that oil does not contaminate soil and water. After allowing only clean water to continue to pass through and oil to remain, it is then to be collected, transported and disposed of at a licensed disposal site, by legally licensed waste carriers – you can find information regarding licensed waste carriers here. (All oil waste will need to have the correct and legal consignment note paperwork – producers of the waste are responsible for this). 

Interceptors often take the form of chambers, which work like this: the water and oil passes through three chambers, and the intention of the design of each chamber is to allow the oil within the water to rise to the top, with the cleaner water moving through to the next chamber. These chambers incorporate a vent above them to release the vapour build up. Finally, the oil-free water passes through into a storm drain or outlet.

However, much like all drainage components and contraptions, it’s important that maintenance is carried out to keep it working correctly. Oil interceptors accumulate a considerable amount of oil build-up over time, advice from the EA is that ‘oil waste is to be removed by a licensed hazardous waste collector on a regular basis/via a this must be removed by a regular tanker cleaning maintenance program. Failure to maintain the interceptors can lead to oil entering the environment and water-courses, which can, in turn, lead to fines and other sanctions from authorities, as you may breach the aforementioned environmental guidelines.

Cammack & Wilcox Limited (CW) are proud to offer oil interceptor cleaning services for customers throughout Northampton and surrounding areas. We are fully licensed, vastly experienced and committed to providing to the highest quality services for each and every job to protect the environment. We remove oil interceptor waste adhering to all environmental laws at all times and provide our customers with all legal required paperwork. We are happy to offer, provide and advise on oil interceptor cleaning, maintenance programs and general maintenance questions. We offer competitive rates and aim to attend sites within 48 hours of being booked during our normal week, but an emergency service is also offered.