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How do oil interceptors operate?

Grease and oils are commonly found in stormwater runoff from catchments. They come from the leakage and spillage of lubricants, fuels, vehicle coolants etc. Since oils and grease are hydrocarbons which are lighter than water, they form films and emulsions on water and generate odorous smell. In particular, these hydrocarbons tend to stick to the particulates in water and settle with them. Hence, they should be trapped prior to discharging into stormwater system. Oil interceptors are installed to trap these oil loads coming from stormwater. In commercial areas, car parks and areas where construction works are likely. It is recommended to establish oil-trapping systems in these locations.


Typical oil interceptors usually contain following compartments:

(i) The first inlet compartment serves mainly for the settlement of grits and for the trapping of floatable debris and rubbish.

(ii) The second middle compartment is used for separating oils from runoff.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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