Pipeline Hydrotest Water Treatment and Disposal

As part of pipeline maintenance, companies routinely hydrotest pipelines that are used to transport refined fuel products. Water used for hydrotesting becomes impacted with petroleum hydrocarbon fuel components and additives. To assist Chevron Corporation with disposal of hydrotest water, we devised a plan whereby impacted water would be routed to a pipeline terminal, stored for treatment in an unused product tank, treated using activated carbon, and discharged to the storm drain under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Treated water was contained in a storm water/emergency spill retention basin for verification testing prior to discharge. Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MtBE) posed a challenge for treatment and discharge. After treatment, trace levels of MtBE were detected in retained water and recent regulatory policy dictated complete removal of MtBE. We took advantage of the retention basin discharge pumping system to create a spray system that eliminated MtBE and kept the retained water from becoming an odor nuisance. The MtBE challenge was overcome and treated discharge was allowed to enter the storm drain.