Snap-on is committed to conserving and preserving water quality. Meeting and exceeding The Clean Water Act requirements, as well as Federal and local regulations, we continually look for new ways to reduce the volume of water used and the amount of wastewater generated in our plant processes. Some of the processes involved include: electroplating, electropainting, heat treatment, electropolishing and coolant processing.
Employees close to the production of our products have the best vantage point and the inherent ability to recognize situations related to wastewater reduction and recycling. Employee contributions have resulted in a number of instances where wastewaters have been reduced and/or reused, and even used in other processes.
Wastewater Treatment and Water Conservation
Approximately 15 years ago, we began coating our tool storage units to protect against corrosion. We selected a water-based technology and a process 95 percent efficient from a material usage standpoint. As a result, we are able to recycle paint solids and rinse waters, thereby minimizing water pollution.
In 1990, we enhanced environmental controls and performed production changes at our Algona, Iowa, tool storage plant in an effort to reduce the volume of wastewater generated in the rinsing baths used to prepare storage units for painting. The recovery system recycles wastewater and reduces the volume of butyl cellusolve discharged into the Publicly Owned Treatment Works. We have reduced wastewater volume by 36 percent, while decreasing suspended solids in the discharge by more than 90 percent. Fats, oils and grease in the discharge have also been reduced by more than a third, lessening the load on the Algona municipal wastewater treatment system. Since 1992, we have lowered the acceptable level of butyl cellusolve being discharged by 85 percent.
Similar approaches to water conservation have already been implemented in many of our facilities. Other possibilities are being investigated.