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Plating Wastewater Treatment & Recycling System Design

Miami Gardens, Florida

Services: Wastewater Engineering
Clients Served: Industrial

This multi-phase project involved the installation of a new zero discharge wastewater treatment and recycling system (WWT&RS) for several plating operations at a large, aerospace manufacturing facility. Wastewater sources included rinses from chromium, acid-alkali, and cadmium-cyanide plating operations as well as water from associated air scrubber systems.

First, Loureiro performed an alternatives evaluation, which included the collection of wastewater samples from key points in the process plating process, to understand the physical and chemical characteristics and concentrations. The evaluation also included the review of all available design, construction, and operational information from the plating operations, and former treatment system as well as conducting detailed interviews with knowledgeable facility process engineers and operators.

Based on the information collected from the evaluation, a treatment technology was selected, and Loureiro managed the performance of an onsite wastewater pilot study. The scope of the pilot study included the design and fabrication an automated ion exchange system, onsite operation of the system over a three week period, the performance of a batch treatability study, and the refinement of projected capital and O&M costs.

Following the pilot study, Loureiro managed the design, permitting, installation, and startup of a full-scale, 10 gpm WWT&RS. The system consists of three, individual, continuous-flow ion exchange systems, which are used to treat and recycle chromium, acid-alkali, and cadmium-cyanide wastewaters, respectively. Additionally, Loureiro worked with the facility to reduce the amount of wastewater being generated by recommending low cost solutions such as a countercurrent rinse system for plating operation and longer drip times for parts to reduce contaminant loads in wastewater.


  • The new WWT&RS replaced a 20 year-old traditional treatment system that discharged to a sanitary sewer
  • The evaluation phase results included a summary of viable treatment and recycling technologies with budgetary capital and operation & maintenance (O&M) costs and an estimated ROI for each.