Since OSHA began enforcing its new standard for silica exposure in 2017, we’ve seen a rise in the use of wet polishing techniques, which eliminate the hazard of airborne silica. Power trowel polishing is one of those wet techniques that brings with it a number of advantages, including convenience, affordability, and efficiency. Runyon’s Magnetic Preload System simplifies tooling changes and makes the process all the more straightforward. However, power trowel polishing does produce a considerable amount of slurry that will need to be effectively managed and disposed of during and after a project.
There is no single right way to capture and remove slurry—the correct process will depend on the specifics of the job, your available budget, and what is most convenient and effective for you and your team. That being said, it can be helpful to evaluate and take cues from processes that we’ve seen succeed. Let’s take a look at some recommended equipment and steps for streamlined slurry management while power trowel polishing.
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What Equipment and Supplies Do I Need for Slurry Management?
Due to its chemical makeup, slurry is classified as hazardous waste, which means that it can’t legally be disposed of into a sewer or dumpster. So, how can you safely and effectively remove the large amount of slurry that results from polishing concrete with a power trowel?
The answer is that you’ll need to break it down before it can be properly disposed of. Safely dealing with slurry requires you to separate the substance back into its two primary components: cement and water. Once separated, the clean water can be recycled back onto the floor for reuse. This can significantly reduce the total water usage for a project.
When the water is gone, the residual slurry will need to be condensed and dried into a solid so that it can be easily and safely disposed of in a dumpster or landfill. However, you should check local disposal guidelines to ensure that you’re complying with any and all regulations.
For efficient slurry management while trowel polishing, you’ll need a combination of containers, bags, pumps, vacuums, and a variety of slurry agents on hand. You might also use an auto scrubber to easily collect the slurry.
Here’s an example of an effective material and equipment lineup for slurry management:
- Mixing tote or dumpster
- Slurry bag tote
- SlurrySep flocculant
- Slurry Destroyer
- Dewatering slurry bags
- Trash pump with 2” discharge hose
- Clean water sump pump
- 100’ garden hose
- 100’ extension cord with splitter
- Soaking pan
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Slurry Management Steps While Power Trowel Polishing
Once you have the right equipment and consumables on hand, you’re ready to deal with the slurry created during a power trowel concrete polishing job. As mentioned above, you’ll need to collect the slurry, separate and remove the water, and then safely dispose of the resulting coagulant.
This is one way to handle the process:
- Pump slurry from the auto scrubber into a mixing tote.
- Add 1 cup of SlurrySep into the tote. This reactive separating agent captures cement particles in just a few minutes.
- Use an air compressor to bubble the slurry. Alternatively, you can use a paddle mixer to agitate the slurry in the tote for about three minutes, or until you see the flocculant forming.
- Drop in a sump pump, and start pumping into the second tote with the slurry bag in it. Make sure that the slurry bag has enough space on the side walls and bottom so the water has room to get out. Once the majority of the water is out of the tote, add SlurryDry (a super absorbent polymer).
- The clear water will pass through the slurry bag and the clumped floc will stay in the bag.
- Pump out the clean water for reuse. This will cut down on the total water usage of the project.
- Let the slurry bag drain all the water out, and then dump out the slurry coagulant for disposal.
Maximize the Efficiency of Power Trowel Concrete Polishing With Runyon
Whether you need help creating an effective and economical slurry management system for a large project or you’re interested in streamlining the concrete polishing process with a power trowel and our Magnetic Preload System, Runyon Surface Prep can assist you. We’re a full-service sales and rental facility with a robust inventory and a team full of dedicated, passionate people. We look forward to serving your tooling, consumables, and equipment needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about our products, our shipping processes, or surface preparation in general!