CHS Refinery Wastewater Treatment Oil Removal System Upgrades

McPherson, Kansas, United States

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The replacement of oil separation equipment with new technology enhanced performance and improved pre-treatment for the biological process at this refinery.

The API separator and dissolved air flotation (DAF) clarifier at the petroleum refinery had reached the end of their useful life and required replacement to enhance reliability. The design solution needed to be sufficiently robust to provide continuous operation at design conditions for a minimum five-year period. Due to the need to maintain the equipment in operation during construction and lack of available space for redundant treatment trains, the wastewater needed to be pumped to a new location for treatment.

Our approach

We provided detailed engineering and procurement services for the replacement and relocation of the API separator and dissolved air flotation (DAF) clarifier equipment.

Projected wastewater characteristics were developed to reflect future refinery upgrades and changes in crude oil sources. This led to existing equipment being replaced with two, 1,000 gpm treatment trains, including a new wastewater collection sump and gravity sewer, lift station, nitrogen-blanketed API separators, dissolved air flotation clarifiers capable of future retrofit to DNF, thermal oxidizer for treatment of off-gases, sludge and oil storage, and chemical feed facilities. 

This project included 3D structural and mechanical design, construction level documentation (one lines, loops, cable tray, conduit and cable schedule, elementaries, logic diagrams, instrument/IO index, P&IDs with client-specific software) and compliance with a very developed set of client specifications for implementation on a fast-track schedule. 

We also prepared equipment and materials procurement packages and managed procurement activities on behalf of the refinery. At construction stage, we provided submittal reviews, addressed contractor questions, and conducted site visits and equipment inspections during the manufacturing process.

As a separate project, we performed a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for a reclaimed water system that could be installed in the future downstream of the new API-DAF and existing biological treatment system.  The reclaimed water system would be operated to produce boiler feed water and cooling tower make-up water.


  • The 3D design and bills of materials allowed on-site contractors to fabricate mechanical systems in an expedited manner to meet the aggressive construction schedule.
  • Our involvement in the procurement of equipment and materials helped ensure necessary quality and delivery schedule.
  • The oil removal system has enhanced water efficiency at the refinery.