New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site
Section 5: Facility
- Compressor Blowdowns
Potential Environmental Impacts
Air compressor blowdown water commonly contains lubricating oil
or other potential pollutants. These hydrocarbons can contaminate
surface and groundwater when improperly managed.
the need for installing a dehumidifying system in the air compressor
which would reduce the moisture content of the compressed air
and therefore the volume of wastewater generated. This practice
may also prolong the life of the compressor by reducing loss of
lubrication and rusting.
the exterior of air compressor equipment for the presence of oil
leaks on a regular basis.
a preventative maintenance program which includes, but is not
limited to, a schedule for cleaning parts, replacing oil, and
replacing filters for the air compressor equipment as recommended
in the manufacturer's specifications.
retain any floating layer of oil prior to discharge.
purchase of oil-free air compressor that would eliminate oil from
the blowdown water.
blowdown water may not be discharged into the ground or
surface water without a permit.
air compressor blowdown water to sanitary sewer, or contain it
in a holding tank. This wastewater should not be discharged into
a septic system. Follow the BMPs listed above to ensure that the
lubricating oil is removed from the water before discharge to
the sewer. If you send more than 500 gallons per day to a municipal
sewer, you may need a permit. Contact the water division at your
state environmental department for more information on the requirements
for your state.
oil, filters and oil/water separator waste must be managed as
used oil in accordance with the federal [40 CFR 279, click
here] and state requirements (For New York State