Galvanizers Get To Grips With Rainwater Recycling
23 August 2012, News release from Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd
As the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the country, Wedge Group Galvanizing has been at the forefront of the industry in driving forward technological advances to improve resource efficiency.
This article outlines the significant steps and investment made in introducing rainwater harvesting and recycling systems across a number of the firm's 14 UK facilities.
With sustainability becoming an increasingly important factor for architects and developers, as well as many other industries, to consider - due to environmental rules and regulations, not to mention the cost and ethical aspects - it is no surprise that the popularity of hot-dip galvanizing as a highly-effective and environmentally-friendly finish, continues to grow.
The galvanizing process does experience evaporative loss through the initial cleaning of the steel which goes through a degreaser, diluted acid and a cold water rinse to remove all grease, scale and dirt. This ensures that the steel is in an ideal condition to react with the molten zinc. After galvanizing the steelwork can also be cooled in a quench tank. As a consequence, water has to be replenished on a regular basis throughout the process.
The systems used to undertake rainwater collection and harvesting are becoming increasingly sophisticated and effective, with a significant amount of care and attention going into their design and construction to ensure that they are easy to manage and require minimum energy input.
Nine of the firm's 14 UK plants have now incorporated some form of water recycling operation, varying from highly sophisticated, bespoke rainwater harvesting or sustainable drainage systems, to simple, yet practical solutions, where retired galvanizing baths are transformed into water storage tanks.
Wedge's £6 million plant at Sawtry in Cambridge, which has been described as 'the most technologically-advanced galvanizing plant in the UK', features a roof that slopes from both sides to form a central gutter, which collects rainfall and transfers it to a 50,000 litre tank, where it can be stored and subsequently reused.
The plant also boasts an underground Sustainable Urban Drainage system (SUD) which regulates the discharge of surface water following periods of heavy rain, reducing the risk of flooding. This underground system has a capacity of 325,000 litres and incorporates a network of underground pipes from across the site.
Meanwhile, at Wedge's Worksop plant in Nottinghamshire, £250,000 has been invested to install a bespoke rainwater harvesting system, including a sophisticated siphonic guttering network. Rain that falls on the site's 20,000m² yard area is stored in a huge 500,000 litre tank, while a 50,000 litre collection tank has also been fitted to gather all rainwater from the plant's roof.
In addition to these flagship projects, seven more of the company's facilities have also adopted their own rainwater recycling initiatives. Its Glasgow plant has transformed a disused galvanizing kettle into a 50,000 litre water storage tank, while at its site in Eastleigh, Wessex, they have adapted both a redundant preflux tank and galvanizing kettle to hold up to 60,000 litres of water for reuse.
Rainwater collection and harvesting is becoming increasingly prevalent across both commercial and urban environments, and the systems introduced to undertake it are becoming increasingly sophisticated and effective.
For further information please email Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd