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Surface Finishing Wastewater Treatment

Worldwide commercial production and manufacturing of metal finishing increases the levels of hazardous wastewater. ALAR Water Treatment provides the Surface Finishing Industry with a full line of wastewater pretreatment, chemical and mechanical dewatering filter solutions. A wide variety of industries performing various metal finishing operations are regulated by effluent guidelines that cover wastewater discharge.

Tens of thousands of facilities perform various metal finishing operations and discharge process wastewater directly to surface waters or indirectly to surface water through Publicly Operated Treatment Works (POTW’s). ALAR can provide chemical pretreatment and sludge dewatering equipment solutions for discharging metal finishing wastewater.

Environmental regulatory agencies established pretreatment programs in order for municipalities to perform permitting, administrative and enforcement tasks. These programs are designed to protect the POTW’s infrastructure and reduce toxic pollutant levels of wastewater discharged by the metal finishing industry into municipal sewer systems and the environment.

Surface and metal finishing manufacturing processes vary at each facility, as does the industrial wastewater generated. To comply with metal finishing effluent guidelines, an industrial facility needs to review the category of wastewater pollutants discharged, the wastewater treatment technologies, and management techniques used to control these discharges (including zero discharge).

ALAR Water Treatment is a direct-manufacturer of chemical treatment and mechanical dewatering equipment for the Surface Finishing Industry. ALAR’s industrial wastewater technology can integrate into an operation as a complete system or retrofit to existing machinery. These custom-built systems specialize in meeting environmental discharge and disposal compliance regulations for: Metals, Oil & Grease (FOG), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and pH.

ALAR Water Treatment designs and builds proven wastewater treatment systems that produce cost effective results and environmental compliance. ALAR provides access to a full line of continuous flow or batch chemical pretreatment, mechanical liquid-solid separation, and sludge dewatering equipment. Let ALAR guide your industrial facility in determining which method offers the best solution.

surface finishing

Industry Details

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ALAR manufactures industrial wastewater treatment equipment for worldwide distribution. 

Surface finishing wastewater is a moving target; no two waste streams are alike.  ALAR understands the difference and uses its chemical, engineering and technological expertise to deliver results that work.

Responsible industrial wastewater management makes the difference between regulatory compliance and non-compliance.  ALAR offers a variety of mechanical and chemical pretreatment systems that allow customers to make an educated decision.

The Auto-Vac® is a self-cleaning rotary vacuum drum precoat filter capable of generating direct city discharge water and landfill-ready dry solids. The Auto-Vac® vacuums treated wastewater through a filter aid media that traps the solids while an advancing knife blade shaves the solids off the surface.

The benefits of Auto-Vac® in the Metal Finishing Industry include:

  • Single Pass One-Micron Filtration
  • No Clarifier – No Sludge Dryer Needed
  • pH Driven – Little to No Polymer (Coagulant or Flocculent) Needed
  • No Sludge Settling Needed
  • No Blowdown Cycle – Filter Blinding or Bottlenecks
  • No Oil Separator Needed for Trace or Emulsified Oils
  • Typically More Efficient than a Clarifier and Filter Press
  • Dewaters Rinse and Dump Sludge Wastewater FAST!

The Flex-O-Star® is an automatic batch or continuous flow chemical pretreatment system, combined with the Auto-Vac® RVDPF technology.

The Flex-O-Star® is a pre-piped, pre-wired, skid-mounted automatic wastewater pretreatment and dewatering system that incorporates a two-step process: Chemical and Mechanical.

STEP 1: Chemical pretreatment uses pH, ORP and [occasionally] polymer to precipitate (separate) heavy metals, suspended solids, trace or emulsified oil & grease, and surfactants from the water [liquid].

STEP 2: Mechanical filtration uses the Auto-Vac® precoat filter technology to physically remove and dewater the chemically separated solids. The one-micron filtered water discharges into the municipal sewer or is pumped to a dissolved solids (IX or RO) or bio-reactor (UV or SBR) system.

The Sludge Settling Clarifier & Micro-Klean™ is the conventional “go-to” combination liquid-solid separation system used for surface finishing process wastewater.

The Clarifier produces a clear effluent through the separation of liquid from settling solids. Concentrated heavy solids “sink” to the bottom of the clarifier and are pumped to a sludge settling tank and dewatering filter.

The Micro-Klean™ is a robust pre-piped, solid steel plate-n-frame dewatering filter press; equipped with an automatic hydraulic ram and solids collection bin. The Micro-Klean® will filter the sludge until the solids fill each plate. Over time, the buildup of solids will block any more water from passing through the filter. When the filter press is full, the operator will blow out residual moisture, open the press plates and scrape them down. The solids will fall into a collection bin and the filtrate is discharged into the sewer or returned to the chemical pretreatment cycle.

ALAR Provides Wastewater Equipment Solutions for the Surface Finishing Industry:

Metal finishing operations require the best available technology to achieve compliance. The standard limit category of regulated effluent discharge pollutants are: cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, silver, zinc, cyanide, TTO, oil & grease, TSS and pH.

These standards apply, but are not limited to, the following Surface Finishing industrial users:

Aerospace and Automotive


[Powder / E-Coat] Coating (Chromating, Phosphating and Coloring)

Electroplating and Electroless Plating

Chemical Etching and Milling

Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing

...Along with discharges from dozens of other operations associated with the metal finishing processes above

The ALAR Engineering Department designs each system to meet the customer's build-to specifications. ALAR begins with stock layouts, and customizes the auxiliary equipment according to the customer's specifications.

These stock layouts are available in PDF format.  Contact ALAR for more information.

Case Studies


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