Last edited 02 Jun 2021

Wheel washing system

Wheel washing systems can be installed on construction sites to enable the wheels of plant, trucks and other vehicles to be cleaned before leaving the site. This is used to control and eliminate mud, slurry and other pollutants being deposited on public roads.

A requirement for wheel washing may be identified as part of an environmental risk assessment carried out prior to work beginning on site. It can also be particularly important on sites that contain land that is contaminated, and may be a requirement of planning permissions.

The system is typically located near to the site exit and instructions given to site operatives, delivery drivers and visitors that they are to use it before leaving.

There are two main types of wheel washing system:

  • Roller: Each set of wheels is placed on the rollers and rotated as water sprays out from strategically-placed nozzles.
  • Drive-through: The vehicle drives through and a sensor triggers the washing process.

The sludge which is washed off may be directed into a recycling tank, with the sedimentation of the solids accelerated by the use of flocculants. The solids which settle at the bottom of the tank are removed by an automatic scraper or excavating plant. The aim is for clean water to be used for every wash.

There are also 'environmentally-friendly' systems available which are stand-alone units involving water filtration and recirculation.

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