Safe and Efficient Disposal

Our plants are operated by personnel trained in wastewater management, and each of our facilities has a wastewater plant for treating process water and stormwater. Valero uses specialized bacteria that naturally digest oil and other components in our waste streams, before discharging the water or reusing it to irrigate nearby fields or in habitat tanks at local aquariums. 

A corporate wastewater technology adviser works with each plant to ensure our systems are designed and operated to the highest standards and to meet very stringent discharge limits.

Image Source: Texas State Aquarium

Wastewater Management Program

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Process water and stormwater are managed at our wastewater treatment plants. We use specialized bacteria to naturally digest oil and treat wastewater streams to purify the water before returning to the ecosystem. 

Working with innovative approaches to minimize use and eliminate waste

Water scarcity can be a risk not only to communities but to the refining process. Water is needed for cooling and also in the form of steam for heating. In addition, water plays an important role in removing impurities from feedstocks. 

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Our water-risk-based approach is integrated into our operational and long-term planning to mitigate and reduce water risks. 

We have taken several steps we believe are necessary to secure our operations in conditions of water scarcity.

• Our Three Rivers refinery treats wastewater and pipes it to nearby, privately owned farm land for irrigation, helping to produce bales of hay for farms and ranches.

• Our Welcome ethanol plant was one of the industry’s first operators to achieve “zero discharge” of wastewater by recovering and recycling process water and stormwater. 

• At our Wilmington refinery, we have a signed contract to take treated municipal wastewater to supplement our cooling tower makeup water. Upon project completion, we will save up to 420 million gallons of potable water per year. That is roughly the annual amount consumed by 9,000 U.S. households.*

*Source: Water Footprint Calculator