Vickery Transportation thrives as liquid waste specialist
Feb 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Wastes handled at the facility include acids (hydrochloric, sulfuric, chromic, nitric, hydrofluoric, and phosphoric), ammonium products, brines, landfill leachate, and caustic. Site restrictions include the following: reactive cyanides must be less than 250 parts per million (ppm); reactive sulfides must be less than 500 ppm; flashpoint must be above 212°F; volatile organic compounds must be less than 5%; and oil content must be less than 10%. The facility does not accept radioactive, shock-sensitive, and infectious wastes.
Disposal of the hazardous wastes is through deep well injection, according to Vickery Environmental literature. The facility sits on top of a geological formation that has proven to be ideal for injection disposal. Four wells at the site extend 3,000 feet down through multiple impermeable rock layers and into the Mount Simon formation, a layer of porous sandstone stretching over thousands of square miles. The sandstone layer is 2,000 feet below the water table.
Through the wells, waste liquids are pumped into the Mount Simon formation, which contains them and holds them indefinitely without posing any risks to people, animals, plants, groundwater supplies, or drinking water resources, according to Vickery Environmental literature.
The facility uses some of the latest in liquid storage, pumping, and monitoring technology to ensure the long-term integrity of the system. Each well is composed of fiberglass tubing surrounded by four to six layers of steel and concrete. Between the innermost layer of steel pipe and the injection tubing is a space called the “annulus,” which is filled with diesel fuel that is maintained at a pressure higher than the pressure inside the injection tubing. This pressure differential ensures that — in the event of a breach in the injection pipe — none of the waste solutions can escape.
State-of-the-art computer systems with built-in redundancies continuously monitor and control the wells. In addition, Vickery Environmental workers routinely inspect the wells and pumping equipment, and yearly testing is performed to ensure the mechanical integrity of each well.
The Vickery Environmental facility is open Monday through Saturday, and in-bound waste shipments are scheduled at 20-minute intervals. All of the shipments must be pre-cleared before being sent to the disposal facility.
Customers must provide a waste profile prior to the first shipment, and Vickery Environmental managers must sign off. The facility receives about a half dozen new profiles each month, according to Vickery Environmental managers.
Customers also complete a loading sheet before each shipment. Along with the initial waste profile, this is used by Vickery Transportation to determine the equipment that will be needed to safely transport the hazardous waste shipment.
Increasingly, these shipments come from more distant origins. “At one point, most of the loads we hauled were within a 200-mile radius of the Vickery Environmental location,” says Mark Cooley, Vickery Transportation operations manager. “Today, half of the loads we haul come from more than 350 miles away. We go as far south as Tampa, Florida, and west to Sioux City, Iowa.”
Longer hauls aside, Vickery Transportation still handles a large number of relatively local shipments and averages a load a day per tractor. The carrier maximizes productivity in a couple of ways. McLeod dispatch software gives the fleet managers the ability to keep the trucks moving safely and efficiently. A drop-and-hook system means drivers do none of the unloading, which gets them back on the road with minimal delay.
With more shipments coming from farther away, Vickery Transportation relies heavily on its drivers to ensure that everything is in order before the wastes are loaded into the Vickery Transportation tankers. Drivers are thoroughly schooled in hazardous waste hauling procedures and regulations.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus