Performing High Strength Waste Tank Cleaning For Veolia Water

As contracted operators of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)’s water treatment facilities and deep tunnel systems, Veolia Water manages and treats the wastewater of more than a million southeastern Wisconsin residents, while helping protect Lake Michigan from environmental harm.     

Project Background

In April 2018, Great Lakes Power Vac responded to a Veolia Water public bid request cleaning a large underground waste tank at their Southshore Water Reclamation District Facility in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The scope of work included:

  • Permitted required confined space entry
  • Dislodging and removal of waste solids
  • Spill and fall protection
  • Storage, transportation, and disposal of all waste materials at Waste Management in Franklin, WI
  • Final tank cleaning

The project required bid and performance bonds and specific MMSD goals for Small, Women-owned, and Minority Business Enterprises (SWMBE) and Residents Preference Program (RPP) content. Great Lakes Power Vac met all these requirements and submitted a bid as a “prime contractor.” In May, GLPV was awarded the project.


Executing the job for Veolia involved the removal of over 4,000 cubic feet of waste solids in three distinct layers (sludge/mat-like material/gypsum-like solids) from the waste tank before it could be put back into service.

A zero-tolerance requirement for spillage onto MMSD property or into MMSD sewer systems had to be implemented, as well.

Several project precautions had to be considered, especially for the confined space entry. The waste tank, itself, possessed a sloped floor making its surface very slippery. Level “C” PPE (including respirators due to odors and high levels of CO2) and an on-site rescue team were necessary at all times.

In addition to these challenges, the project had a very short window of just seven (7) days for completion. Fortunately, our expertise with these situations at Great Lakes Power Vac prepared us to deliver skillful results.

Great Lakes Power Vac’s Solution

By utilizing our experienced team of confined space specialists equipped with 10,000 PSI water blasting gear, we were able to break up the target materials and direct the resulting liquid waste slurry into a vacuum hose connected to a 25-yard vacuum box.

Vac boxes were also placed onto spill guards to prevent spillage from contaminating the local property. Once removal was done, the roll-off vacuum boxes were transported to an approved landfill for proper disposal under a waste profile supplied by Veolia Water.

Not only did we complete the project skillfully and efficiently, our team of professionals even finished an entire day prior to what was expected.

In Need of High Strength Water Blasting?

Great Lakes Power Vac provides water blasting services – a highly effective and environmentally friendly method of surface cleaning.

If you have a project that requires this type of service and proficiency, be sure to contact us online today or give us a call at 800.822.4887.


Contact us today to learn more about our services or to find out how we can help your organization.