Oil-Water Separator Installation at a Generating Station—Pennsylvania

May–December 2020

In the spring of 2020, Riggs Distler was contracted to install a new oil-water separator at  a Generating Station in southeast Pennsylvania. Combining the resources of our Heavy Civil, Mechanical, and Industrial Electrical teams, we mobilized quickly for this fast-paced project in order to meet the December deadline.

Our work involved:

  • Demolition of two above-grade fracking tanks.
  • Demolition of two underground oil water separators and an oil holding tank.
  • Shoring the excavations.
  • Installation of two new underground oil water separators and 2 solid separator tanks.
  • Installation of an Option 1 block.

The equipment installed will help the plant remediate water used in its maintenance department, separating out oil before it is prepared for discharge.

Challenges Overcome

The project’s main challenges were related to working within the tight spaces demanded by the functioning power station. Due to the presence of overhead power lines, using a crane to set the new tanks was out of the question. The project’s footprint was also limited by Option 1 security blocks in one corner, which needed to be protected. All inlet and outlet lines were to remain in place and be reused, but our client ultimately expanded our contract to remove and replace their associated valves. 

Riggs Distler’s Heavy Civil team had several meetings to resolve these challenges, and we were able to find solutions to the logistical issues with careful planning and execution. Shoring for the installation of the new tanks and piping was intensive, as the limits allowed for the project were +/- 1 foot.

Results Delivered

Demolition proceeded smoothly, and all installations were performed while staying within the allowed limits. This project was an excellent example of multiple Riggs Distler divisions cooperating to deliver all turnkey services associated with the replacement of the client’s equipment. Our teams completed all project work on schedule, and the new oil-water separator system was put into service the first week of December 2020.