Saving a Client’s Day After a Chemical Delivery Mistake

Client: Regional Milk Processing Facility

Issue: A Botched Chemical Delivery Shuts Down Production

Solution: A Neutralize and Turnaround Collaboration

A regional Milk Processing facility client needed a solution to a complex waste problem. Its supplier botched a delivery and filled the cleaning solution tanks with the wrong chemical, compromising the client’s ability to properly disinfect its process equipment and threatening to shut down production. This was a major problem without an easy solution.

Although ERC Midwest had not worked with this client before, we were recommended by a mutual connection as a guide with the proven capabilities to lead the client to a solution quickly.

Can you help us?” was the question. “Of course,” was our answer.

Within a few hours, we had a project manager on site to assess the situation and collaborate with the client to develop a plan.  The mistakenly-delivered chemical had been circulated through various parts of the plant before the client had become aware of the error.  As a result, it had contaminated a series of tanks along with stainless steel pumps and pipelines, all of which needed to be addressed.  In addition, the chemical had a high alkaline pH [>12.5] adding an additional neutralization issue that required a solution. 

After collaborating with the client and the chemical company, which led to agreement in the needed result, we guided the rest of the process and promised the necessary result.

The Solution Required Three Phases:

First, neither the client nor the chemical supplier wanted to be a large-quantity hazardous-waste generator, and because the chemical, while wrong for the client, still had value, we helped find a buyer and the chemical was reloaded onto a tank truck and re-delivered to a new customer for an appropriate a re-use application. One problem fixed.

Second, neutralizing the equipment with an acid was deemed to be too dangerous from a health and safety standpoint.  For protection, our team wore the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment [PPE].To work around that, we water flushed all the impacted equipment multiple times until the pH was neutral and vacuumed the water into a tanker truck. This addressed the issue effectively and generated a non-hazardous wastewater that could be easily managed for treatment. Two problems fixed.

Third, and finally, the impacted pumps, piping and fittings needed to be reconnected and tested to ensure that there were no leaks.  Third problem fixed. From start to finish, the project took 10 hours, shorter than anyone expected, and came in under budget. 

We were proud to be the guide that helped this client achieve its goals.

Another complex waste problem complex waste problem solved. Happy Client!  

Contact us today to find out how we can help guide you and solve your complex waste problems.

Contact Us

Leave a Reply