The Essential Role of Oil Water Separators in Industrial Operations.


In today’s industrial landscape, efficient wastewater management is paramount. With strict regulations and a growing emphasis on environmental sustainability, industrial facilities are constantly seeking effective solutions to treat wastewater contaminated with oil and solids.

Oil Water Separators

Industries such as steel production, mining, food processing, tank truck wash, power generation, and heavy equipment washdown utilize water in their production processes. This often results in wastewater that contains oil from various sources. Before this water can be reused or discharged into municipal water treatment plants, it’s crucial to separate and remove the oil content. Implementing the right oil/water separator design not only enhances overall operations but also reduces costs, mitigates the risk of fines, and potentially generates income. If your facility deals with oily water, understanding what an industrial oil/water separator is, how it functions, and its potential benefits can significantly improve your operations.

Function of Oil Water Separator?

Oil water separator is a device utilized to segregate oil and water mixtures into their distinct components. These separators are capable of treating various contaminants present in water, including free-floating oil, emulsified oil, dissolved oil, and suspended solids. Different types of oil water separators exist, each tailored to address specific contaminants present in wastewater.

Oil water separators serve as crucial equipment in industrial settings, designed to separate oil and suspended solids from wastewater originating from sources such as oil refineries, petroleum handling facilities, petrochemical and chemical plants, and natural gas processing plants.

Types of Oil/Water Separators

There are two main types of oil/water separators: gravity-based separators and coalescer separators.

  1. Gravity-based separators: These industrial oil/water separators operate based on the difference in gravity between water and the specific gravities of oils. Variants of gravity-based separators include the API Separator, Corrugated Plate Interceptor, Tilted Plate Interceptor, and Hydrocyclone Separator.
  2. Coalescer separators: In coalescer separators, the flow of oil and water through the system resembles that of gravity separators. However, coalescer separators incorporate oleophilic media. This media facilitates the binding together of oil droplets on its surface. As a result, the oil droplets merge, increasing in size and buoyancy, leading to quicker ascent to the surface and thereby enhancing the separation process.

Key Features Oil Water Separators:

  • Improved Wastewater Treatment Efficiency: By effectively separating oil and solids from wastewater streams, our clarifiers enhance the overall efficiency of wastewater treatment processes. This results in cleaner effluent and reduces the burden on downstream treatment equipment.
  • High Solids Separation Efficiency: Utilizing cross-linked polyethylene cone-bottom tanks with steep slopes (up to 55 degrees), our clarifiers ensure maximum solids separation. This design minimizes the risk of clogging and improves overall system performance.
  • Environmental Compliance: Our clarifiers help industrial facilities meet regulatory requirements by ensuring the proper treatment of wastewater before discharge. This promotes environmental sustainability and minimizes the risk of fines or penalties.
  • Reduced Maintenance Costs: With durable construction and easy-to-access components, our clarifiers require minimal maintenance, reducing downtime and associated costs. This allows industrial operations to remain productive and efficient.
  • Modular Flexibility: The CL/CLT Series clarifiers can be applied as pretreatment, post-treatment, or as standalone treatment systems, providing versatility to address various wastewater treatment needs.
  • Enhanced Operational Flexibility: Whether used as standalone units or integrated into existing treatment systems, our clarifiers offer flexibility to adapt to evolving wastewater treatment needs. This scalability ensures long-term viability and cost-effectiveness.
  • Self-Contained Design: Our clarifiers feature an above-ground design, eliminating the need for large and costly pits. This design simplifies installation and maintenance, making it an ideal choice for industrial facilities of all sizes.
  • Optional Filter Pac III: For applications requiring total wash-water recycling, our clarifiers offer the option to integrate the Filter Pac III module. This module is designed for flow rates of up to 30 GPM and features carbon, cartridges, and media filters for producing recycle-quality wash water.


In conclusion, oil water separators play an indispensable role in industrial operations by effectively treating wastewater contaminated with oil and solids. By investing in oil water separators, industrial facilities can enhance process efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and minimize environmental impact. With continued advancements in technology and a commitment to innovation, oil water separators will continue to serve as essential components in industrial wastewater management, safeguarding both the environment and operational success.


Q1.How does a clarifier/oil water separator work?

A:Clarifiers/oil water separators work by utilizing gravity separation to separate oil and solids from water. Oil and solids are allowed to rise or settle to the surface while clean water is discharged or reused.

Q2.Can reclaimed oil from a clarifier/oil water separator be reused?

A:Yes, depending on the quality of the reclaimed oil, it can often be reused in industrial processes, providing a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for oil recovery and recycling.

Q3.What role do oil skimmer blades play in the operation of a clarifier/oil water separator?

A:Oil skimmer blades are essential components that facilitate the removal of oil and grease from the surface of wastewater in a clarifier/oil water separator. They skim the oil off the surface, allowing for efficient separation and removal.