FRIESS oil skimmers in use on tank washing systems of the German Armed ForcesOil-free wash water in the sedimentation tank thanks to the specially designed oil skimmer

During Bundeswehr tank exercises, the heavy equipment becomes dirtied up, which has to be removed at a washing facility.


The dirt is washed off with washing water, whereby the oil from the track lubrication in particular leads to a high level of contamination in the washing water. The oil is usually removed with the dirt. However, oils also get into the wash water when cleaning other Bundeswehr vehicles, which are also dirtied up after off-road exercises.

To prevent floating oils and greases from entering the environment, the wash water is first fed into a settling basin where solids settle to the bottom and greases and oils float as a film on the surface of the wash water. The wash water must be free of oil before it is discharged to the communal waste water system..

Solution: The oil film is removed from the entire surface with the FRIESS S 100

The FRIESS S 100 oil skimmer is currently being used for effective oil-water separation at the washing water settling basin at three Bundeswehr locations. Thanks to the specific guidance of the oil collector tube on the surface of the settling basin, the floating oil film can be removed effectively over a large area. The oil skimmer is mounted on a boom, which also serves as a pipeline for the skimmed off tramp oil, which is connected to the underground collection tank. The collected oil can then be disposed of properly. The possibility of remote monitoring and remote control means that the control room’s specialist staff can react promptly without having to be on site themselves.

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Pictures of the project of the Bundeswehr tank washing facility in Klietz in different construction phases

Bundeswehr site Klietz: Early construction phase of the settling basinl, near the tank training area.

The FRIESS S 100 oil skimmer was installed during the construction phase of the settling basin. The special construction includes the boom on which the S 100 is mounted. Piping is integrated into the boom, which transports the collected oil into an underground collection tank. Access to the collection tank can be seen at the front of the picture

Underground collection tank, with suction line. The collection tank is filled directly via the pivoting boom.

Side view. Thanks to the oleophilic tube, oily films adhere particularly well to the hose, ensuring effective oil removal even with large height differences between the surface of the washing water and the scrapers.

The following functions are integrated in the control cabinet for the S 100:

  • Operating times
  • Fill level and leakage monitoring of the tank
  • Connections for remote operation from the control station

Photo of the completed settling tank with S 100 in operation.

Another location with an S 100:
Bundeswehr Altengrabow
Following successful commissioning at the Klietz site, the same S 100 solution (with boom, collection tank and remote operation) was integrated at two other Bundeswehr sites. The picture shows the Altengrabow site.


Third site with oil skimmer S 100 with boom, collection tank and control cabinet with remote operation function at the Altenbrück site.

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Conclusion on the S 100 oil skimmer as a special solution

FRIESS was involved from the planning to the implementation stages of the entire tank washing system at the Bundeswehr base in Klietz. Special requirements for the FRIESS S 100 oil skimmer, such as the rotating boom, which is connected to a collection tank, as well as the specific requirements for the control cabinet with remote operation and remote monitoring, were taken into account.

Due to the good results, two further Bundeswehr sites were retrofitted with this version of the FRIESS S 100.

This example shows the wide range of applications for the powerful S 100 (removal capacity: up to 500 liters of tramp oil per hour), which is primarily used in larger tanks and basins for industrial applications. Due to the performance characteristics of the S 100, this oil skimmer model is also an excellent solution for the heavily contaminated washing water used by the German Armed Forces. FRIESS is able to implement special solutions to meet individual requirements and thus deliver the best results