Save Water When Washing Aggregate
BY Duncan High
Water use restrictions and permitting challenges continue to increase, making it harder for operations to find ways to stay profitable while using fewer resources. As a result, aggregates and mining operations are moving toward new technology to conserve natural resources while increasing long-term savings and return on investment. Here’s how.
Reduce Water Use
One way the industry has adapted to conserve water is through the use of settling ponds. Advanced washing systems, such as Haver & Boecker’s Hydro-Clean, when paired with a settling pond, can reduce water consumption by as much as 75 percent over traditional washing systems. That allows operations to cut their water use and limit their water treatment requirements and necessary equipment. It also makes an advanced washing system more favorable as governments push aggregate producers to use new technology to meet new restrictions.
Plus, this new washing system can pump water at very high pressures—as high as 2,000 pounds per square inch—through spray nozzles in a matter of seconds—at 211 gallons per minute. That’s a huge benefit to operations running under strict restrictions. The equipment’s high-pressure jets effectively remove fines and dirt from deep crevices, such as marine limestone or porous rock. The advanced washing systems can be used to wash prescreened materials, which have small fines sticking to the larger particles. This is accomplished by washing the material initially and conducting a final rinse over a vibrating screen.
Cut Energy Consumption
Producers can save as much as 15 percent in energy costs by switching to new washing systems. Part of this is due to the speed at which the new washers complete a cycle. On average, alternative washing methods, such as log washers, retain materials for three minutes or more while materials stay in a high-pressure washing drum for just seconds.
Advanced washing systems can restore value from what might have previously been deemed waste. This reduces waste streams and breathes new life into vital resources, while putting more money in the producer’s pocket. Advanced washing systems can do a lot to reduce an operation’s environmental footprint, as well as help improve profits. Work with a manufacturer to determine the best fit for each site and its unique characteristics.
Duncan High is the division manager of processing equipment technology at Haver & Boecker Canada. His 28 years of experience with the company helps him lead a team focused on providing customers processing equipment solutions to help them get the highest possible production rates and reliability. For more information, contact him at (905) 688-2644.