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
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
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
Agricultural Wastewater Pump
With agricultural wastewater pumping needs, both government and industry have the challenge of finding pumping equipment that can handle chemical based wastewater like insecticides and PH balancing solutions plus wastewater manure, hair and other solids.
Related: see a case study video on a cattle bath pump system
A case in point is the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) need for professionally designed diaphragm pumps to serve the needs of its cattle inspection stations in various parts of the country. After a trial run of trash pumps failed to produce the required results, the USDA called on Wastecorp to design a pump that can incorporate severe duty lifecycle requirements to pump wastewater containing manure, insecticide, chemicals, hair and other solids.
Diaphragm pump designed for agricultural pumping applications
In some of these operations cattle are offloaded to the inspection station and receive a thorough examination by veternarians and USDA staff to check for desease causing insects and other abnormailities which may render the animal unsuitable for human consumption or pose a threat to other livestock. After the initial examination, cattle are sent to a bath that includes an insecticide designed to control fever ticks, scabbies, horn flies, lice, screw worms and more which is a constant battle for government inspectors and ranchers alike. The animal is fully immersed in the solution and then enters a controlled area where the insecticide can do its job. After a predetermined period for the cattle to dry, they are released to enter into the next stage of the food processing system.
Manure and insecticide transfer system for cattle
After the inspection and insecticide application stages are complete the The cattle baths must be carefully pumped out with solids and slurry separted from the wastewater which is trucked out for further treatment. At this facility, a potty wand is connected to the Mud Sucker to prevent large items like hoofs and horns from entering the pump. Any remaining solids are sent through the pump to a grinder with the remaining fluid achieving a slurry like consistency. With new cattle continuously entering the inspection process, the USDA expects a highly productive pump that requires little maintenance and even less down downtime. The Mud Sucker B Series professional delivers.
Related: See specialized agricultural diaphragm pumps for wastewater applications
Mobile Diaphragm Pump
You name the tank that needs to be pumped out and we have heard of at least a few customer applications that correspond with that tank. Underground septic tanks, lagoon transfer, transport truck tankers, locomotive tankers, waste pits and waste vegetable oil drums are among the most popular. What you have to keep in mind is that in most of these applications, you will need a pump that can easily maneuver in areas to access the discharge valve or at least some place where you can place the suction hose.
Randy K. from Columbus, GA, contacted Wastecorp about his settling tank pump out operation:
“I Need assistance to find the correct pumps to transfer mud consistency wastewater, brackish water and abrasive media out of settling tanks at a mining application we have. We have a need for three or four pumps that need to be mobile. We have been told that a diaphragm pump with check balls might work. The pump also needs to be able to handle gritty waste water and slurry. We are pumping up around 8-10’ and pumping out vertically to a screen another 60’ What do you recommend?” Randy K. Columbus GA.
Well Randy, it has long been known in the pump business that when you have a variety of media to pump, your pump must be versatile. The Mud Sucker B Series Professional diaphragm pump is one of those products. Take the Mud Sucker® 3B Series you see in the photo above. This is being transported around a six mile long public space along New York City’s West side. This Mud Sucker pumps everything from septic waste, cleaning up construction wastewater containing aggregate, waste vegetable oil from City operated restaurants and more. The check balls help to manage the solids and if something should get stuck in the pump you simply unbolt the valve covers, remove the check ball, find the blockage and you’re back in business. This is like a 5-10 minute process.
The Mud Sucker® B Series can pump up to 80 GPM and transfer fluids up to 300’ vertically so you will have plenty of pumping power. Keep in mind, that as wastewater gets thicker these values can vary. The pump you see above is shown with an off road utility trailer that we manufactured for the client’s needs. This is a heavy duty trailer but adapts to the tight New York City spaces that the pump must maneuver through. The best part is, we can manufacture these pumps and trailer systems specifically for your needs with hose bins, lockable storage containers and tanks for waste water collection and fresh water distribution. More information can be found at www.wastecorp.com or by calling 1-888-829-2783.