Interceptor Maintenance Guide

Interceptor Maintenance Guide

A Guide to Interceptor Maintenance

Oil and petrol can cause considerable environmental damage, if they find their way into the local water supply. An oil and petrol interceptor traps and filters dangerous hydrocarbon pollutants from water run-off. They are commonly used at car parks, petrol stations, roadworks, construction sites, and other places where vehicles gather. Flooding, or interceptor blockages can lead to pollution. To avoid this, it is imperative to have a regular interceptor maintenance schedule. Regular interceptor maintenance and cleaning mitigates the risks of an environmental incident as much as possible.

interceptor maintenance guide

How Interceptors Work

To better understand cleaning and maintenance requirements, it’s necessary to know how interceptors work. Typical systems are fed by a channel drain, through which the rain and run-off initially enter the interceptor. The interceptor then filters contaminants into the different chambers. Each of these chambers has a dip pipe that extends towards the base of the chamber, allowing oil and petrol to rise to the surface and be trapped, while cleaner water is moved through into the next chamber. An air vent system also runs above the ground, to release the vapours that build up in the tanks.

Cleaning Oil and Petrol Interceptors

One of the primary regular tasks to be undertaken is cleaning the channel drain, and removing any oil and petrol that has accumulated on the surface. If the channel drain is not clean, functionality will be impaired. Once the channel drain has been cleared, the tanks of the interceptor should be emptied and cleaned, removing all dirt, grime, debris and standing or clinging oil and petrol, taking care to ensure contaminants aren’t released into the local environment. Finally, the dip pipe system needs to be flushed, to remove any build-up of debris. As with the cleaning of the tanks, special care should be taken to prevent any pollutants escaping.

Keeping a Regular Maintenance Schedule

It is generally advised that you have your interceptor cleaned and maintained by accredited professionals, at least every three to six months. It is also vital that additional cleaning and maintenance is carried out after any major rainstorms or events that may have caused additional debris to collect in the system.

The following interceptor maintenance checklist outlines the tasks that need to be carried out:

Quarterly Maintenance Checklist

  • Check the integrity of the interceptor and all its mechanical parts
  • Inspect the filters and repair or replace, where necessary
  • Assess the amount of contaminants that have collected in the tank
  • Service all electrical systems, interceptor management systems and alarms etc.
  • Examine the coalescing device (if there is one) and replace, if required
  • Have all silt and contaminants removed and disposed in accordance with regulations
  • Install new interceptors, if required to meet site and regulatory requirements
  • Inspect supporting infrastructure, like manholes, pipework and gullies
  • Maintain industry standard documentation
  • Keep logs of any inspections, maintenance, incidents, services and contaminant removal activities
  • Ensure any contaminants are removed and transported in accordance with relevant legislation

The Importance of Maintaining your Interceptor

It’s vitally important to carry out regular interceptor emptying, cleaning and maintenance. Aside from the potential environmental damage, organisations who fail to do so, could face legal action and some hefty fines. A poorly maintained oil and petrol interceptor may well be interpreted as causing a risk to the surrounding groundwater, and lead to legal action being taken under the Water Pollution Act 1997 & 2000. It could also deemed an offence under the Dangerous Substances Act 1972, and lead to other sanctions being imposed; so adhering to a regular maintenance schedule is hugely important.

The potential issues that can be caused by a poorly maintained interceptor can severely impact the environment, not to mention your company finances. For complete peace of mind, you should have your interceptor regularly checked, cleaned and maintained by trained professionals. If you would like help putting together an interceptor or forecourt maintenance schedule, contact us today. Our friendly team of experts would be happy to help tailor a plan to your requirements.