The water that is drained from any compression system is considered hazardous waste and must be handled properly. Simply blasting the condensate out into the back driveway has become unacceptable behavior. State and federal regulations are rather specific about this form of dumping and heavy fines and cleanup cost can be levied against any company that continues this practice. To further complicate this situation, the cost associated with handling the shear quantity of condensate that any compression system generates is prohibitive.
The actual contaminates in the discharge are really very small and can be separated by utilizing a commercial oil/water separator. These systems are inexpensive, extremely simple to operate, require very little maintenance, and sufficiently clean the compressor discharge so that it may be dumped into the storm sewer.
The separator works in two stages . The first is a large reservoir that allows the oil within the condensate to separate via gravity. Condensate is introduced at the top of the reservoir through a diffuser. The diffuser is intended to slow the velocity of the input so that it does not remix the oil/water that is already in the reservoir. The reservoir is sized to allow the oil/water enough resident time so that the oil can separate by floating to the top. The bottom of the reservoir is clear water. The clear water exits through the bottom, via the standpipe and clear water drain. The top of the standpipe is vented to prevent siphoning action. Asight glass is incorporated so that the amount of separated oil may be monitored. When enough oil is separated, it may be drained off through the oil drain valve and sent to an appropriate oil-recycling center.