Pumping wet wipes at a municipal wastewater treatment facility
Wastecorp employees read a story posted on YAHOO! from Yahoo and Thames Water’s Website (Thames water is responsible for sewer maintenance in London, England) about a “fatberg” comprised of cooking oil, wet wipes and more which was roughly the size of a Boeing 747. In our weekly global meeting, many on the call contributed to the discussion because in almost every pump markets globally, our customers have to manage either issues relating to cooking oil or solids in the sewer system. The manufacturers of wet wipes worldwide have said that they are researching and developing new products that will help to reduce the clumping issue. But the primary contributor to this problem is not the wet wipes; no one should be dumping cooking oil down the drain – ever. As the YAHOO! article says, when you dump hot cooking oil down the drain into the cold sewer system the fat congeals and clings to anything including the wipes, toilet paper or other solids.
Related: Thames Water Press Release about the “Fatberg”
Here is North America; municipal wastewater treatment operators routinely voice their concerns to us about the use of wet pipes by the general public and then flushing them down the toilet. “Do you guys make a pump that can better handle the wet wipes” is a question Wastecorp frequently receives at our sludge pump call centers. Jim K. from Winston Salem North Carolina tells it like it is:
“ All these wet wipes that come into our mid-size WWTP are wreaking havoc on our pumps. We use rotary lobe pumps and progressive cavity pumps and they just clog them causing them to fail and then thousands worth of damage. We need to go a different route. Our city engineer was looking at Wastecorp’s website and suggested we ask about either your plunger pump or double disc pump options.” We need some guidance here please.” Jim K. – Winston Salem, NC
Well Jim, the rotary lobe and progressive cavity companies will sell you the same story: go with our pumps – they’re new. They are leaving out an important fact most lobe and progressive cavity pumps have been around just as long as plunger pumps, (+- 75 years) and most of lobe and progressive cavity pumps don’t do a good job of handling solids. When it comes to plunger pumps, they are a lot less likely to clog. The check balls and pistons move sludge and wet wipes and send them on their way. You should also consider a screen and a grinder in your WWTP process, but having a pump more capable of handling solids will go along way.
Jim, like your city engineer said, many WWTP’s your size have selected either a plunger pump or a double disc pump to manage these wet wipes. We see a lot of facilities your size going the route of the Sludge Master® PE-941 SSIII or our Sludge Pro® 4DDWP™ Double Disc Pump Series. Unless your facility has an endless budget to keep replacing rotors, stators and bearings your facility would be wise to consider other pump options. More info can be found at www.wastecorp.com
Related: Waste oil pumps and containment systems
Stringy material pump
Any wastewater treatment plant operator will typically tell you that one of the biggest hassles they face daily is pumping stringy material from a variety of sources. The problem here is that the material tends to get stuck in the impellers of trash pumps and wreak havoc on lobe pumps. Phil from Clyde, Texas tells us about his quest to find a better solution:
“A buddy of mine has been using your Mud Sucker diaphragm pumps at a public works facility down the road from me and we are considering the same. Our WWTP pumps a lot of stringy material from mops and unknown fibrous material. We are using non clog trash pumps now but make no mistake, the impeller still gets clogged. We need something better. We have seen diaphragms used on honey wagons to pump all sorts of material and they have worked. We work with less than 5% solids and need to pump around 100 GPM with a TDH of about 15’. What do you recommend and what do I need to budget?” – Phil H. Clyde, Texas
When Wastecorp designed the Sludge Pro Double Disc Pump we set out with the goal to engineer the easiest to service sewage pump available to engineers and WWTP end users. One common request from the engineering community was that an operator or maintenance person would never have to crawl under a double disc pump with a casting hanging overhead and the potential for sewage to leak over the operator. When you think about – why would anyone design a pump like that? Our answer is that you would have to ask the competitor because Wastecorp would not.
Servicing a double disc pump
The video below shows how to change the trunnion on a Sludge Pro double disc pump. As you can see most of the maintenance is done with the operator standing up and most components visible to the operator. Continue reading
Double Disc Pump or Single Disc Pump? You Decide.
Since we launched the Sludge Pro Disc Pump product line, there have been several questions as to whether or not a single disc or double disc pump is more appropriate for specific wastewater treatment applications.
To be clear, there is not always a need for a double disc pump. A single disc pump will fit the pump specification properly. One of the reasons why consulting engineers and contractors have put the double disc pump specification in place is because up until recently there have been few other alternatives. In many cases, a double disc pump is simply overkill in both pump, footprint, cost and maintenance time down the road.
Single Disc Pump Where a Double Disc Pump is Overkill
Take the Sludge Pro single disc pump for example. This pump series offers up to 150 GPM pumping capabilities with a single disc, trunnion and pump body. This reduces the footprint in most municipal WWTP’s by at least 20%. You also reduce repair costs by replacing only one disc, trunnion and connecting rod instead of two. With over 21 years of pump manufacturing experience, Wastecorp designed the Sludge Pro with a heavy duty ball valve configuration because this design has demonstrated improved solids and slurry pumping capabilities over traditional double disc pump manufacturers. The Sludge Pro single disc pump is available in 3”, 4” and 6” connection sizes with discharge head up to 184’ or 80 psi. You can learn more about Sludge Pro single disc pumps at http://www.wastecorp.com/disc-pumps.html or speak to a disc pump engineer at 1-888-829-2783 anywhere in the United States and Canada. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where the closest double disc pump or single disc pump engineer is closest to you. There are also educational resources about double disc pumps and single disc pumps at your disposal. See video comparing disc pumps and decide for yourself. You can also see video of both double disc pumps and single disc pumps by clicking here.
Orange County Sewage Pumps
Orange county is home to dozens of resorts, hotels and theme parks which generate tens of millions of gallons of wastewater that needs to be treated every year. When an Orlando, Florida renewable energy company earned a multiyear contract to accept waste from local resorts and theme parks, they needed severe duty pumps to transfer thick slurries and solids.
The details of the project called on the requirement of pumps to transfer ground up seafood shells, grease trap waste, utensils, animal renderings, wastewater and more. In this application, the waste is unloaded from a tanker into a waste pit. The waste is then transferred to a conveyor system which then separates most of the foreign objects like utensils, large solids, plastic bags and more. The remaining waste is sent through the Sludge Master plunger pump and then to the digesters of the wastewater treatment plant. With millions of people visiting Orlando resorts and theme parks every year, this amounts to a lot of waste, as tanker trucks deliver new loads of slurry like liquid waste around the clock. Continue reading