There are a variety of job sites that call for concrete washout. As we discussed in our previous email, concrete is a mixture of cement, water, and aggregate material, and when concrete is used on a construction site, two things need to happen. One is that the concrete needs to be washed out from the trucks, chutes, tools, etc. before it hardens; and two, the resulting material must be collected and retained in order to prevent runoff and various hazardous environmental impacts.
The washing out of concrete results in a concretious slurry that is full of toxic metals. As we’ve mentioned before, this slurry has a pH similar to that of Drano. The material is caustic, corrosive, and highly damaging to the environment. Indeed, it’s essential to take care during the construction process as wet concrete and washout water can even cause eye damage and various kinds of irritation to workers on site.
Concrete Washout Solutions offers different services depending on the needs of your jobsite, which we will look at in more depth in an upcoming email. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some alternative ways to contain washout water and why they don’t hold up to the concrete washout containers and services offered by Concrete Washout Solutions.
Hay Bale and Plastic Washout Pit
The first thing we want to address is jury-rigged washout pits. These are most commonly made using hay bales and plastic. The hay bale and plastic washout pits can get the job done, but there are some costly risks that accompany it.
One of the risks of using a hay bale and plastic washout pit is the need for regular replacement due to damage. This kind of washout pit is made by digging out a pit in the ground (or, less commonly, constructed above grade), laying down plastic lining, and then surrounding the area with bales of hay. The purpose of this pit is to function as a holding area for wash-water. The washout will be vacuumed or go through a natural process of evaporation, leaving only the hardened solids. Finally, these solids can be broken up and transported to a landfill.
There are some things to keep in mind in regard to hay bale and plastic washout pits. The first is that the plastic lining and the hay bales are vulnerable to easy damage. When the solids are being broken up, for instance, it can be easy to tear the lining. If there is damage to the lining, then it must be replaced before moving forward in order to prevent concrete runoff. The next thing to keep in mind is that the solids from this sort of washout pit are often unable to be recycled due to the mixing of materials from multiples uses. This means that it can be a labor-heavy, costly, and environmentally-damaging option.
Rather than going through the trouble of installing a hay bale and plastic washout pit, some projects choose to go with vinyl containers for their concrete washout. These vinyl containers are more portable and long-lasting than the hay and plastic concrete washout pit. Vinyl containers will hold the concretious slurry until they are lifted, which will filter out the water and leave the solids behind. The water is filtered into a container below the bag that holds the solids. The bag with the solids will be sent to a landfill or recycled, while the filtered wash-water will evaporate.
Vinyl containers can be a solid choice, depending on the project. However, these vinyl containers have some major shortcomings. The most obvious shortcoming for the vinyl container is its size and capacity. These containers tend to have very limited capacity compared to both the ramped and rampless services offered by Concrete Washout Solutions. For some perspective, our ramped concrete washout container has a capacity of nearly 900 gallons.
Concrete Washout Solutions
Concrete Washout Solutions is an environmentally-conscious and efficient concrete waste disposal company serving the New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. Our services offer safer, more efficient, and more environmentally-conscious alternatives to the above methods of concrete washout. Indeed, we are quickly becoming the industry standard in concrete waste management, washout removal, and recycling. Visit our services page to learn more, and stay tuned for future emails about our company and news on the industry.