WALLINGFORD — A crane operator lifted sacks filled with plastic balls above a water basin treatment pond Friday as part of an effort by Allnex to reduce emissions.
The work is designed to limit the release of chemicals at the company’s South Cherry Street facility. Allnex produces industrial coating resins.
Site Manager Frank DiChristina said in 2014 the company added 300,000 plastic balls to the water basin. The balls cut down on the evaporation of chemicals and allow the water basin to remain accessible to site engineers.
“These balls, in effect, act as a cover over the liquid and keep the chemicals and solvents that come from our production process in the liquid,” DiChristina said.
The water in the pond is treated before the company is permitted to discharge it into the Quinnipiac River. The water basin, known as an equalization basin, contains 2.4 million gallons of water.
“As it sits there in the heat of the day, sunlight especially at this time of the year, you get evaporation,” DiChristina said. “Some of those chemicals would evaporate, creating emissions.”
Emissions are classified as Toxic Release Inventory, which are reported to the the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Without the use of the system involving the plastic balls the facility would be one of the top T.R.I. emitters in the state. In 2014, an initiative began to reduce T.R.I emissions from the wastewater treatment plant by placing the first layer of balls.
Allnex Safety Health and Environmental Manager Ginny Ryan said before the company first placed the balls in the pond, tests were conducted to confirm that the balls would reduce emissions without harming the water treatment process.
“We’ve had good success. So much so that we wanted to do it again and decrease our emissions,” Ryan said.
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