Concrete Washout Solutions takes seriously the potential environmental impacts of concrete washouts. Of course, we want to ensure that all of the equipment — from the truck drums to the chutes to the hand mixers — is efficiently cleaned and operating to its full capacity. But concrete washout services are not just about ensuring the functioning of the equipment.
Our services are geared toward the effective, safe, and environmentally-conscious treatment of concrete washout. There is good reason for this. The environmental impacts of concrete washout can be very serious. This week’s newsletter is dedicated to exploring some of the potential consequences to concrete washout. As always, contact Concrete Washout Solutions with any all of your questions. We are here to help with concrete washout for the Philadelphia and New Jersey areas. Contact us today.
The Content Of Concrete Washout
It comes as a surprise to many people that concrete washout can be so toxic. After all, hardened concrete is inert and harmless to the environment. So, what’s so bad about the wash-water that results from mixing and cleaning concrete and concrete equipment?
First, it’s important to note that the slurry that results from concrete washout is full of toxic materials. This slurry — also called cementitious washout wastewater — will often include cement, grout, plaster, plastics, stucco, and a whole host of toxic metals. Needless to say, a mixture that includes all of these things is not safe or good for the environment.
Alkalinity and pH Levels
People tend to be familiar with the dangers of liquids with high acidity. A pH scale measure the relative levels of alkalinity and acidity. Concrete washout wastewater tends to have extremely high levels of alkaline. Don’t be fooled by the lack of acidity in concrete washout wastewater. High levels of alkaline can, over time, be just as corrosive and toxic as substances with high levels of acidity.
A standard pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 1 being most acidic, 14 being most alkaline, and 7 being neutral. The pH levels of concrete washout waters can sometimes be as high as 13. This matches the pH of household drain-cleaning products like Drano. The washout water has such high levels of alkaline because of chemical reactions between the water and free lime particles within the cement.
So, what are some of the harmful effects that can result from such high-alkaline, metal-filled slurries? One of the big dangers results from inappropriate drainage. If concrete equipment is rinsed and washed out, it is imperative that it’s done in an appropriate manner. If construction sites or companies take the washout process into their own hands, sometimes the resulting washout will make its way into local waterways.
This type of effect can happen even with the best of intentions. There is a risk of unintentional leakage, seepage, and run-off. Intended or not, untreated concrete washout can result in concrete burns, damage to vegetation, and immeasurable consequences for surrounding ecosystems. There are direct human costs as well. Even for the on-site workers, direct contact with the concrete washout can result in skin irritation and damage to the eyes.
Concrete Washout Solutions
It is essential to be operating with the appropriate equipment and to receive expert advice. Concrete Washout Solutions offers unparalleled equipment and expertise, all of which will result in the safest and most environmentally-friendly treatment of concrete washout. We are equipped with the knowledge and resources to ensure the best concrete washout experience. Contact us to learn more, and be sure to stay tuned for further information on our company and the industry at large.