Avoid Pollution From Washdown Activities at Automotive Salvage and Recycling Yards

Owners and operators of an automotive salvage or recycling business are required by the Clean Water Act to obtain a stormwater permit. There are very few exceptions to this rule so if you own or operate such a business; you are out of compliance unless you have this permit. As part of your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), you must describe potential on-site sources of pollution and develop measures and controls as well as the Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will be put into effect.

The EPA considers a BMP for washing areas for salvaged vehicles, parts and equipment as essential and makes the following recommendations:

    1.    Avoid washing equipment or parts outside.

    2.    Use phosphate-free, biodegradable detergents.

    3.    Consider using detergent based or water-based cleaning systems instead of organic solvent degreasers.

    4.    Designate a specific area for these cleaning activities.

    5.    Contain steam cleaning wash waters or discharges under an applicable NPDES permit.

    6.    Ensure that wash waters drain well and do not drain into a surface water body or a separate municipal stormwater sewer system.

    7.    Do not discharge waste water into a dry well.

    8.    All discharges which are authorized by your general stormwater permit must meet all applicable water standards.

    9.    Inspect cleaning areas regularly.

    10.   Install curbing, berms or dikes around cleaning areas to confine spills.

To comply with your stormwater permit, you must implement Best Management Practices to prevent polluted wastewater from being discharged into the storm sewers. Wash water from salvage yards can be harmful to humans, animals, plants, and fish if it is released untreated. In addition, if this wastewater is allowed to soak directly into the ground, it may contaminate both the ground water and the soil. Some newer systems in cities have separate sewer systems and when waste water is discharged into a storm sewer, it is directly discharged into a body of water – with its load of pollutants

Find out if the storm drain and sanitary sewers are combined or separate systems. Some are combined before the final discharge point, resulting in the treatment of most wastewater before it is discharged to surface water bodies such as lakes, rivers, or streams. If you do not know or are uncertain, take the following steps:

    1.    Use plugs on all floor drains.

    2.    An alternative measure is to install a sump, and see that it is pumped regularly.

    3.    Update your facility’s schematics accurately reflecting all plumbing connections.

    4.    Install safeguards to prevent vehicle washwater and water from cleaning parts from entering the storm sewer.

    5.    Inspect and maintain all underground storage tanks and replace when necessary.

Because regulations vary widely, contact the city’s storm water department or water department to determine the exact local requirements. 

Streaming Media: The New Essential

“We aren’t selling toasters; we are selling exciting products,” David Pryor says in an interview with Automotive News. He’s the Vice President of Marketing, and his exciting products are Porsches. “It’s very hard to communicate that emotion with just text and pictures.”

As a method of delivery rather than a medium itself, streaming media technology distributes audio, video, and multimedia in real time or on demand over the Internet. Unlike earlier online media, streaming media plays instantaneously without any added time and effort to download the entire file. In short, there’s no thinking or technique involved: it just plays.

Streaming media isn’t just for luxury brands, entertainment, or news industries. It has numerous common business applications, including company meetings, distance learning, sales force training, surveillance, video email, product introduction, event broadcasts, news distribution, webcasting and web conferencing.

For example, educational and training opportunities are not confined to classrooms — companies can simultaneously train countless employees around the world. In 2003, the United States Department of Defense did exactly that, streaming 35 hours of training on smallpox vaccinations to 20,000 military healthcare professionals, including medical directors and clinical consultants.

Imagine commercials for your product airing continuously without being interrupted by TV or radio programs. In January 2008, a Research and Markets report on streaming media advertising noted that the marketing size for both streaming audio and video advertising was estimated at $990.3 million in 2006, up 128% over $433 million billed in 2005.

Businesses from every industry with the need for communication are quickly recognizing the value of streaming media, particularly streaming video. IBM notes that streaming video offers businesses “the ability to help dramatically increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their corporate communications efforts — from rich media corporate portal content, to live webcast presentations, to distance education for employees, and more.”

A recent study by AOL’s Advertising.com found that 66% of survey participants view streaming video content at least once a week. These survey participants were at ages of prime consuming power: 44% of video viewers are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 56% are age 35 or older.

Insight Research reports that streaming video and music will grow at a rate of 29% and generate $70 billion over the next six years. Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research, concluded “the future of streaming media has never been brighter.”

While streaming video can be viewed by anyone, anytime, anywhere, today’s technology can track all the details. In the Streaming Media Magazine article “Eyes on the Enterprise: Streaming Video’s Marketing Potential,” Steve Vonder Haar writes “the web not only exposes your promotional content to more individuals, it also paves the way for letting you know exactly who spent time reviewing your marketing information.”

By getting to know your audience, you can develop targeted campaigns that establish a bond with consumers. In reference to Porsche’s streaming video on Plum Network, an online cable TV and video on-demand site, Porsche’s David Pryor states “video allows us to create an emotional connection with our consumers. We want it to be as immersive as possible.”

To ensure the success of a streaming video, proper planning must begin before the camera starts rolling. Like traditional video, the quality of streaming video products reflects the skill and equipment employed in production.

Video production specialists know how to capture shots that compress well and translate smoothly when streamed in even the smallest window. Any excessive camera motion techniques, including fast cuts, pans and zooms, reduce the speed and quality of streaming video. Tripods, image stabilization, close-ups and fine-tuned encoding can reduce complications in all connection speeds.

Color and contrast also affect compression. Dark colors can be blended with shadows, and patterns must be refreshed at even the smallest movement. Consequently, solid bright colors and subjects that contrast with their backgrounds allow for optimal video quality.

The running time of streaming video is crucial to its effectiveness. A video designed for distribution or displayed at a tradeshow, for example, is probably too lengthy to be streamed from the web. Such a video should either be re-edited into a shorter version, or split into a series of clips.

An Advertising.com study concluded that the brevity of streaming video might explain why it’s gaining popularity: 66% of survey respondents prefer online advertisements that are shorter than those on television. 15-second spots had 20% higher end play rates compared to 30-second spots.

Whether you have a new product to launch, an event to broadcast, a training session to conduct, or more, streaming media can make it as easy as a single click of the mouse. It’s simple and effective. It’s the way of the future. And in troubled economic times, veteran technology journalist Jacqueline Emigh believes it cannot be ignored: “Against today’s overall backdrop of financial uncertainty, end users’ interest in streaming media stands out vividly.”

Green Degreasers: A Good Choice for Automotive Part Refinishing

Cleaning solvents are used heavily among industries dealing with parts or equipment. Automotive refinishing businesses apply solutions to strip all grime and dirt off of parts before repainting. The environment has been one of the largest concerns when using strong chemicals. They release toxin s into the air or soil if not disposed of properly.

Worker safety is another concern due to the chemicals entering the skin or being inhaled. A worker could experience skin irritation when in direct contact with solvents or develop internal health problems from vapor inhalation. These concerns have led to the development of green or eco-friendly cleaners. Degreasers are a necessity for many industrial processes and make using newer products even safer. Green degreasers have been designed to provide the same results without the extensive risks accompanying common hazardous cleaners.

How Does an Industrial Degreaser Fit Into the Motor Cleaning Process?

An industrial degreaser must be used any time an engine or other automotive part is painted. Buildup prevents the paint from adhering to the metal and from being applied evenly. Dried paint will flake off if cleaning is not performed prior to painting. Engine degreasing is not done all at once. It is a multi-step process where degreasing is performed more than once for a complete clean. The first application involves the entire engine so cleaning can be done on the warm parts. Parts are then removed and the engine is cleaned again. After degreasing has been completed, paint can be applied to the engine’s metal surface.

Run the engine until it is warm before applying the industrial degreaser to necessary parts. A plastic bag secured by tape should be used to cover the air intake duct and the distributor cap. This prevents water from getting into the intake opening. The intake is a hose with one end entirely open or covered with a screen.

A distributor cap consists of thick rubber wires leading to each spark plug. It will consist of heavy plastic, have a round shape, and be made up of five to nine wires depending on the type of motor. Any part that could suffer from water saturation must be covered. Use a spray degreaser to commence cleaning to make sure it does not touch hoses and wires. The chemical should be left on for around fifteen minutes to allow for grease penetration.

A wire brush may be used to loosen extensive buildup areas. Rinse the solvent using a strong stream of water such as that provided by a power washer. The engine compartment will have to be taken apart for internal cleaning. This involves many additional steps including hose detachment, wire removal, and spot cleaning.

A traditional degreaser can be dangerous if used during this process. It is performed in a more open environment where chemicals can easily flow through the air. Anyone working in the automotive industry can benefit from a green degreaser because compound release is minimal and the products are easy to dispose. They pose no harm to the environment, yet provide the same great cleaning power as chemicals commonly applied to parts cleaning.