Pumping wastewater in Nassau County NY poses unique challenges. First the county borders Long Island Sound to the North and the Atlantic ocean to the south which can bring variations in both weather and the types of wastewater that need to be pumped. Nassau County is home to over 1.3 million residents with a mix of suburban residents and vacation properties.
The City of Long Beach, New York was impacted by Hurricane Sandy a few years ago. The municipal wastewater treatment plant experienced flooding and equipment damage. An additional challenge is a nearby recreation center that includes a golf center. With golf balls and other debris entering the sewage system, the pumps were requested to manage unexpected solids. Wastecorp was awarded the bid to replace an existing plunger pump to upgrade the existing infrastructure. Since the facility is so close to the ocean, a grinder was also installed to manage storm surge debris that will likely occur in the future. Continue reading
Trash pump stations for expanding wastewater treatment plants are an effective way to transfer secondary sludge and raw effluent. Wastecorp recently designed and manufactured a four pump solution for an expanding community near Canada’s capital (see the video below). These trash pumps feature a 3” connection and each pump is capable of transferring 740 GPM.
These pumps feature several add on options for ease of maintenance and pump protection in the event of a closed valve or blockage in the line. First, the Trash Flow pumps were outfitted with spring loaded check valves and drain kit assemblies to reduce pump downtime during maintenance. The engineering specification called for Ashcroft pressure gauges and tungsten carbide mechanical seals for improved life cycles. Read more about this installation in our recently published trash pump case study
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.
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
When we visit our customers at wastewater treatment plants and ask operators “what are your facility’s most pressing concerns?”, the answers we most frequently hear are ever tightening budget constraints and dealing with aging infrastructure. And this concern echoes not only in the United States, but in many parts of the world. So this is nothing new right? City budget problems have existed for years. Well, the problem is that aging infrastructure designed to treat sewage may not be equipped for rising urban populations and shrinking green space to protect us from harmful bacteria and other negative health effects.
A New York Times article highlights these concerns. For example, more than 9400 of 25000 American sewage systems have reported violating environmental laws by dumping partially treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials in lakes, rivers and waterways. “This may contribute to more than 20 million illnesses each year in the U.S. alone from drinking water contaminated with bacteria and other pathogens that spread from untreated waste.”* When sewage systems overflow they may be discharged close to water intake points or public beaches which is of major concern.*
Sewage Pump at a New York State municipal wastewater treatment plant. This is a plunger style pump that is very popular for primary wastewater treatment. Less popular alternatives are lobe pumps, screw pumps, double disc pumps and progressive cavity pumps
When consulting engineers’ and facility operators begin to plan an upgrade for their sewage treatment plants most are considering four primary pumps: Plunger pump technology, rotary lobe pumps, progressive cavity and double disc pumps. Continue reading