What’s New in Diaphragm Pumps?

Diaphragm pumps have had quite the evolution over the last few years with new innovations in diaphragm materials, pump body engineering, drive systems and overall design.  This evolution is mainly end user driven; more facilities face budget constraints and have thus demanded cost effective solutions for transferring wastewater and slurry (which diaphragm pumps have traditionally offered remedies).  Diaphragm pump manufacturers have responded by offering heavy duty pump models that transcend their usual application capabilities and now may be suitable for areas that submersible pumps and trash pumps once dominated. Here’s a partial answer to how this evolution has happened:

Diaphragm Pump Design

diaphragm pump design

Diaphragm pump design changes

The diaphragm pump is now offered with a ball valve design. One manufacturer calls it their “Professional Series” because users of this pump technology tend to include applications with higher volumes of wastewater or slurry content such as the Federal government, military, food processing assembly lines, chemical and oil companies and marinas. What this diaphragm pump design includes is a check ball or ball valve to help break apart solids or improve the flow of thicker slurries like mud, blood or other residuals.  The fluid has a reduced chance to cake up in the pump body and valve chamber which may contribute to premature pump wear.

Diaphragm Material Changes

Changes in diaphragm material

Changes in diaphragm material


Depending on your application, the diaphragm  itself has generally improved significantly in terms of  longevity and fluid handling capability. Some pump  manufacturers have selected Santoprene as a diaphragm material for hot or cold environments or when the liquid temperatures vary widely. Santoprene generally resists abrasives more effectively and works well for oily substances, slurry and wastewater pumping.

Viton has also become a popular choice for diaphragm material as well. Viton is especially resistant to select chemicals and tends to wear better in applications with extreme work loads.

Model Selection

Gone are the days when there were one or two diaphragm pump model choices. Wastecorp for instance is a pump company who has invested in the advancement of diaphragm pump technology. The company has introduced over 75 new diaphragm pump models over the last seven years. Wastecorp’s brand name for their diaphragm pump line is the Mud Sucker and is divided into four categories:

FA Series Diaphragm Pump – Heavy Duty

Mud Sucker FA Series Pump

The FA Series is available in 2” or 3” sizes with an all aluminum pump body for light weight transportation. As with their entire diaphragm pump offerings, Wastecorp Mud Sucker’s are available in single or three phase electric, engine, pneumatic or hydraulic drive systems.

B Series Diaphragm Pump – Severe Duty   

Severe Duty Diaphragm Pump

Severe Duty Diaphragm Pump

As discussed earlier, Wastecorp uses a patented designed with a valve chamber to help users break apart solids or help move thicker slurries. Pump models are available in 2”, 3” or 4” sizes with up to 280 GPM capabilities.  The B Series is available  with either aluminum or cast iron pump bodies. Users of the B Series tend to select either stationary (base mounted) or trailer mounted pump models.

DD Series – Double Diaphragm Pumps

Double Diaphragm Pumps

Double Diaphragm Pumps

Mud Sucker double diaphragm pumps are not to be confused with air operated double diaphragm pumps. The Mud Sucker DD Series is a mechanical double diaphragm pump, which typically uses a gear box, and drive system to operate the pump.

BW Series – Severe Duty

Walking Beam Diaphragm Pump

Walking Beam Diaphragm Pump

The BW Series uses walking beam technology to move harsher chemicals, wastewater or food processing waste. Most of the pump is engineered with cast iron components. End users can select stainless steel or bronze pump models as well for FDA food processing, mining or municipal sewage pumping.

With the evolution in diaphragm pump technology in full force, there are new opportunities for government and industries to get a cost effective solution for their unique fluid handling requirements. While you should do your homework when it comes to selecting the right pump reviewing specifications is always a good step. Reputable pump manufacturers usually have this information posted on their websites.

What Commercial Marine Operators Should Consider Under MARPOL ANNEX 5

MARPOL ANNEX 5 Pump Systems for Commercial Vessels

MARPOL ANNEX 5 Pump Systems for Commercial Vessels

Commercial marine operators should understand that the Marpol Annex Five prohibits the disposal of cooking oil, slurries and other substances which may be considered toxic to the marine environment. All of these substances are no longer permitted to be dumped at sea no matter how far offshore. Wastecorp has worked with several companies to make this transition as painless as possible.

One of the systems we recommend to commercial vessels is the photo you see below. This is a 500 gallon (US) (1892 liter) tank engineered with a powder coated corrosion resistant frame and Mud Sucker Diaphragm pump technology. What this system does is pump almost all of the prohibited substances contained under MARPOL Annex V into a containment tank  for proper disposal once the vessel has reached shore or port. The waste in the containment tank can then be pumped into the sewer system for proper treatment at a wastewater pollution control facility.

Commercial vessel waste containment system

Commercial vessel waste containment system

A containment system can also help to manage multiple substances and slurries. Animal fat, wash down water, bilge water, cooking oil and other harmful substances to the aquatic environment can be transferred into the tank and out into the sewage system on land with one pump. The advantage to the user here is that you don’t have to switch pumps for transferring thicker slurries.

All commercial vessels are different. Tanker ships, passenger ships, and cargo vessels all have different needs and requirements to satisfy the new MARPOL regulations. Therefore, you should select the right size containment tank system and pump that works best for your application. You can select the containment system for your needs here. While the new MARPOL Annex 5 regulations require additional pumping equipment and extra care by your crew,  a healthier marine environment for all will emerge in the future. The key is to speak to the right company to help you get there more easily and cost effectively.

To learn more about wastewater and garbage disposal options for commercial vessels please send your inquiry to info@wastecorp.com and tell us what region you are located.

Marina Pump Outs and The New MARPOL Annex V


Marina Pump Outs for New MARPOL Regulations

Marina Pump Outs for New MARPOL Regulations

As many marinas know, the new MARPOL Annex 5 which prohibits disposal of garbage from ships, yachts and boats (which includes certain types of wastewater) have come into effect as of January 1, 2013. The new regulations set specific requirements for disposing of black water, cooking oil, grey water, residues, liquid detergents and animal waste. What has happened since then, is an influx of concerned pleasure boat marina operators asking what can be installed to help satisfy the MARPOL requirements and how much it will cost to implement a pump out system for yachts and super yachts? We provide some suggestions on pump outs below.

Compact Pump Out Systems

Compact Marine Pump Out

Compact Marine Pump Out

For marinas with access to a municipal sewer system line close to the facility, a compact pump out systems such as you see here can pump out yachts from 7 meters to 67 meters (25’-225’). Essentially what happens here is that pedestal pump outs are positioned in convenient areas around the marina and then simply connect to the sewer line in the boat or yacht. Most marinas select an electric driven diaphragm pump system because there is less noise and no requirement for fuel (an engine driven system is also available). Now, this pump out can be equipped with a vacuum pump system but most marinas and boaters have come to realize that vac systems are loud and bulky. Costs range from $3,500 USD -$6,000 USD.

Pump Out Septic Truck Service

In the past, many marinas along the French and Italian Riviera, Spain marinas and U.K. marinas have decided to hire a septic service to pump out waste from boats. These marinas know all too well that this is a very expensive method and is visually displeasing. But with lack of education about pump out options, many marinas have had no choice. Costs for septic truck services range from $500 USD -$2,000 USD per month depending on the amount of boat slips your marina has.

Bilge Waste Containment Systems

Marina Pump Out - Containment Method

Marina Pump Out – Containment Method

In North America, many marinas know these has honey wagons, but generally, these are mobile waste containment systems. What marinas can do here is either mount the containment system on the dock or inside an enclosure for aesthetic purposes. When the tank is full, the marina can discharge into the sewage system for proper treatment or take the unit on a pick up truck or cargo van to the closest approved dump station.

The MARPOL Annex V may be  a new regulation, but it does not need to be confusing. By preventing boaters from discharging into harbors and the sea, we protect and rejuvenate our marine environment. And, with the pump out technology available today it does not need to be costly for marinas to implement or difficult to install. Cost of a waste containment system range from $2,500 – $8,000 USD.

To learn more about pump systems under MARPOL Annex V regulations please contact Marc Johnson at techsupport@wastecorp.com