PEC minority owners Cory Vande Kieft (center) and Jarid Purvis (right), along with Production Manager Brent Jansen, show off the new 2,500-gallon waste water tank the team assembled to hold non-hazardous rinsing solution collected from the zinc and magnesium etchers. Collecting zinc rinsing solution goes above and beyond current EPA guidelines.

A new 2,500-gallon waste water handling tank is up and running in the Pella Engraving Company manufacturing facility. About 300 gallons of non-hazardous rinsing solution from the zinc and magnesium etching machines—mostly made up of water with some neutralizers—flow into the new tank each day.

“Although the EPA does not currently require that we go to this extent to handle our rinsing solution waste water, we would rather be ahead of the curve,” said PEC minority owner Cory Vande Kieft.

PEC used the services of EPA expert Matthew Cox of the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, which is based out of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. “He helped us throughout the project as we selected new equipment and defined a setup and process that exceeds EPA guidelines and has us well-prepared for likely future regulations.

“The services of the Iowa Waste Reduction Center are free,” continued Cory. “I highly recommend other small business owners take advantage of the Center’s expertise rather than trying to keep up with ever-evolving EPA requirements on their own.”

Water from the tank is picked up by a vacuum truck service as needed and transferred to a waste water treatment facility in Polk County.