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Aprocessplantdrainssystems
PublishedThursday01/11/2012

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BaronHerv
He
began
his
professionnal
carreer
with an international oil
company. Starting out
with an interest in the
Operation of Oil & Gas
Facilities, his technical
curiosity about their
design saw him move to engineering
contractorstobecomeexpertinthisarea

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04/11/2015

Thecollectionofprocessfluidstoemptyequipmentpriortotheirmaintenance,ofrainwater,fireandwash
waterinaProcessPlantentailstheprovisionofdrainagesystems.

Thissubjectisnotoftengivenproperattentionandisengineeredlast.

Ithoweverentailsseveralundegroundnetworkswhoseinstallationwillbeoneofthefirstactivitiesatthe
ConstructionSite.Inaddition,beforethesenetworksareinstalledandtheareaisbackfilledtheplanterection
cannotproceedforlackofaccess.

Undergroundnetworkscanthereforebeamajorcauseofdelayofconstructionactivities.

IthereforedeemedusefultoprovidethefollowingoverviewofaProcessPlantdrainagesystem.

ThecommonProcessplantdrainagearrangementisdepictedonthesketchhere.

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Thefollowingabbreviationsareused:

CWContaminatedWater/CWDContanimatedWaterDrain
NCWNonContaminatedWater/NCWDNonContaminatedWaterDrain
ODOpenDrain
CDClosedDrain
OWOily(Water)Drain
WWTWasteWaterTreatment

Processdrains:
Processfluidscontainedinequipmentmustbecollectedwhenequipmentareemptiedfortheirmaintenance.
Thevolumecanbesignificanthencemustberecovered.
TheinventoryiscollectedfromthebottomofthevesselstoarecoveryvesselintheClosedDrain(CD)piping
systemwhereitflowsbygravity.
Theword"Closed"referstothefactthatthedrainagesystemisnotopentoatmosphere.
Thefluidishazardous/flammablesothatitmustbepipedinaclosedpipingsystem,notincontactwith
atmosphere,totherecoveryvessel.

Ontheotherhand,numerousoperations,suchasbleedingthesmallprocessfluidinventorybetweentwo
isolationvavestodismantleafilterorforinsertinganisolatingspadeetc.willrequiresmallamountsofprocess
fluidstobedisposedoff.
Aplantwillhavenumeroussuchsmallbleedoffpoints.
Duetothesmallinventoryofprocessfluidscontained,thedrainvalveswillbeopendirectlytoatmosphere.
Thesedrainsare,forthisreason,called"OpenDrain"(OD).
Theywillbecollectedeitherbymobileequipmentordumpedintheareawaterdrainage.

Oilydrains:

Afacilitywillcontainnumerousrotatingmachineries.
Somewillbelubricatedbygreasebutmostbylubeoilsystems.
Smallamountsofoilwillneedtobedrainedfromthelubeoilsystemsoccasionally.
Thatwouldhappen,forinstance,whendismantlinganoilfilterforcleaningetc.
ThesedrainsarecalledOilWater(OW)drains.
Theyarefoundaroundpumpsandcollected,togetherwithsmallprocessdrains,bymeansofadrippan.
AswithOpenProcessDrains,astheinventoryissmall,thesedrainswillbeeithercollectedbymobile
equipmentordumpedintotheareawaterdrainage.

Waterdrainage:

Rainwaterfallingontheplantterritoryneedstobecollectedsothatthefacilityisnotflooded.
Rainwaterwillbecollectedonlyinpavedarea,roads,buildingroofsetc.Rainwaterfallingonnonpavedarea
suchasgraveletcwillnotbecollectedasitwillseepintheground.

Firewaterusedforfirefighting,inparticularfordelugingprocessequipment,alsoneedstobecollected,as
wellaswashwater.

Theywillbecollected,togetherwithrainwater,intheareawaterdrainage.

Rain/deluge/washwatercollectedinprocessareascouldbecontaminatedbyprocessfluidsand/oroil
droppingsonthepaving.
Itmustthereforebesegragatedfromwatercollectedoutsideprocessareas.

Twocollectionsystemsarethereforeinstalled:theContaminatedWaterDrain(CWD)andtheNon
ContaminatedWaterDrain(NCWD).

NonContaminatedWaterisroutedanddisposedoutsidetheplant.

ContaminatedWaterissenttotheWasteWaterTreatmentfacility(WWT),wherethesmallamountof
hydrocarbonsitcontainsisremoved,thendischargedoutsidetheplant.

Infact,notallrainwatercollectedinprocessareaiscontanimated.
Indeed,sometimeafterrainfalstarts,allhydrocarbons/oildroppingsonprocessareaspavingwillhavebeen
washedoutbywhatiscalledthe"firstflush".
Onlythisfirstflush,typicallythefirst15minutesofrainfall,needstobesenttotheWWT,whatfollowsisNon
ContaminatedWater.

Thesegragationisachievedbythesystem,whichcomprisesaningeniusautomaticflowdiversiondevice
whichroutesthefirst15minutesofrainfalltotheWWTandwhatfollowstotheNCWD.

Thesketchoftheoverflowdeviceisshownhere.
Thedeviceroutestherainwatertoasumpwhosevolumeis15minutesofrainfall.Oncethesumpisfull
rainwateroverflowsaboveaweirtotheNCWD.

TheconceptoffirstflushallowstoreducethesizeoftheCWDsystem.

Remarks:

Theaboveistrueforfacilitieshandlinghydrocarbons,suchasarefinery,wheretheprocessdrainsandoil
drainsarecompatiblefluids(asbothfluidsarehydrocarbons).
Afacilityhandlingchemicals,suchasAmineforinstance,whichisnotcompatiblewithhydrocarbonsand
connotbesenttotheWWT,willhaveanadditionaldrainnetworkforsuchchemical.

TheNCWDnetwork,handlingnonhazardous/flammablefluidscanbebyopengutterswhiletheCWDmustbe
byclosedsystem(undergoundpipes).
Hydraulicsealsmustalsobeprovidedonthelatterbetweenfirezonestoavoidfirepropagation.

Thesizeofthedrainagenetwork(crosssectionofpipes)willbecalculatedfromthemaximumofrainandfire
waterflow.Whichevergovernswilldependontheclimaticdata.

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TheCDnetworkisafreedraining(nopocket)network.TheCWD(andNCWD)aresloped.

AstheCWD(andNCWD)arecollectingrunoffwaterthatsweepsalongdebris/dirt,theyareprovidedmeansof
cleaning,includingaccesspits(manhole)atdirectionalchangesaswellascleanoutconnections.
Comments(3)
VikramWednesday21/10/2015
DearAuthor,Couldyoupleaseprovidesomedetailsonthebasisofsegregatinglighthydrocarbondrainsfrom
heavyhydrocarbondrains?Insomeprojectstandards,IcameacrossthatgasoilsandlighterareroutedtoLHD
whereasheavies(residuessuchasAR)areroutedtoHHD.WHatisthebasistosuchsegregation?
farbodTuesday11/12/2012
IhavesomecommentsonwhatSBsaidabove:Ithinkthereasonundergroundsewersmaystillbepreferedto
drainageoverpavingstoperimeterditchesisthesafetyitbringsspeciallyduringfireevents.imagine
flammableliquidswhicharespreadingoverpavinginthenonundergroundsystemandfirewillspreadas
well.u/gsystemhavemoreinherentsafety.
SBMonday12/11/2012
IThereisnoundergroundsewersysteminEthylenePlant.Oilywaterfromequipmentdrainsarecollectedby
overheaddrainsystem(piping)andtreatedinWasteWatertreatmentsystem.Rainwateriscollectedin
sumpsandpumpedtoWaterWatertreatmentsystemifitiscontaminated.Ifthesumpwaterisclean,itis
pumpedtotheperimetertrenchfordisposal.Theideaofundergroundsewersystemisdisappearingfor
modernchemicalplantsbecauseofpossibleleakofcontaminatedwaterfromundergroundpiping.

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