Automotive collision centers create wastewater that can have a bad impact on the environment if not properly managed. Contaminants in wastewater include oil and grease, metals, detergents, phosphates, chemicals, etc.

One of the largest automotive collision centers in North Carolina needed a wastewater treatment system before their opening in Boone. The challenge was that the automotive collision center is located just outside the city limit, thus the facility is unable to discharge directly or to the local POTW. The automotive collision center needs to treat the wastewater in a closed loop system and reuse the treated water. It was critical for the automotive collision center to find a solution quickly as they could not open without a wastewater treatment system.

Membrane System

RECLAIM Filters & Systems, Inc. designed and installed a system composed of two steps.

The first step is ozonation, a chemical water treatment technique used to degrade organics and inorganics.

The second step is ultrafiltration with ceramic hollow fiber membranes, CERA~DUR. The membranes’ skid is designed to operate in crossflow in-out mode with ultrafiltration membranes, having a pore size (D90) of 30 nm. The membranes are equipped with 3 sensors (flow, pressure and turbidity) integrated into the permeate port. The sensors are used to monitor the membranes’ performance remotely and optimize the cleaning cycles. The system has been running since November 2016, and the operating conditions are as follow:

  • Average flux: 120 LMH

  • Transmembrane pressure (TMP): 1 bar


The system is successfully meeting the reuse quality requirements with 100% retention of suspended solids and a permeate water containing less than 3 ppm of oil and grease. The robustness of ceramic material reduces the fouling behavior and offers a stable flux despite fluctuations of the feed water quality. The sensors significantly support the system integrator to optimize the membrane performance remotely and reduce downtime and cleaning costs.

“We are really excited about the ceramics produced by i2m, mostly because of flow and the potential of a better price point over time.”

- Russ Keller, Owner of RECLAIM Filters & Systems, Inc.