Save money, save water, save time with efficient dust suppression
By 2030 the Government has a target to reduce water consumption by 20%. The construction and quarrying industries use large quantities of water, most notably for dust suppression and influences how products are designed and built to minimise operational water use.
Minimising the use of potable (drinking) water provides environmental and financial benefits to companies, especially in areas of water stress, such as the South-East region.
Good practice should be replicated on sites and new initiatives trialed in an effort to reduce water usage. Our case study below looks at how a 1.5% increase in profit margin was delivered for a customer by initiatives undertaken by Ace Plant.
What is it?
On a site with a construction footprint of 350 hectares, the works involves moving 2.5 million meters cubed of materials onsite and building an 1,800 meter spine road with a railway bridge. The undertaking involves ecological management, construction of a bat house and livestock building, watercourse diversions and drainage installation, along with associated new infrastructure services.
The project was aware that carrying out works during the summer period would require water to reduce dust impact to road users on the A5 and M1, neighbours in a rural village and ecological receptors.
Traditional dampening systems use pressure to discharge water from a bowser onto a splash plate which disperses it outwards. On average, this type of system uses 2000 gallons of water in 8 minutes.
The project knew that water would be a scarce commodity over the busy summer period as no mains connection was available. Non-potable water was taken from on-site settlement lagoons, however, there was only a limited supply.
To minimise water use, bowsers with a hydraulic ultra-lightweight carbon fibre spinning disc were obtained. This worked by water being gravity fed onto the disc, resulting in the ability to provide a fine mist or site drenching depending on the requirement of site conditions.
The operator had the ability to regulate the discharge via a reducing valve to control the flow of the water or by adjusting the speed of the hydraulic disc.
Why is it important to me?
This system proved to be drastically less resource hungry than traditional systems currently in use. The 2,000 gallons of water lasted 90 minutes, rather than 8 minutes, resulting in being over 10 times more efficient. The additional benefit was that plant usage was also much more effective.
In summary, the result of the initiative undertaken at this site provided a cost saving of over £21,000 in water use alone. In a five-month period 25% of resources were saved equating to over 2,000,000 litres of water. The saving achieved would have been greater but an agreement was in place with a local quarry for the supply of water at a cost-effective rate.
We have been supplying a wide range of dust suppression equipment for the past 40 years. Environmental responsibility, particularly in the control of water usage, remains a significant component in the process of developing our new products.