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Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Indian Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant needed to upgrade their influent pump station because it was getting harder and harder to find the necessary pump replacement parts. Norton Engineering and Stone Environmental were selected as partnering consultants to review the situation and recommend upgrades as necessary.
The pump station consists of a 3,800 gallon wet well (open to the atmosphere) and a dry pump room containing 4 solids handling pumps on alternating automatic controls. These pumps were having reliability problems due to obsolescence. The original screening and comminutor system was not functioning and there was no bar screen to protect the pumps. They would clog with pantyhose and the other usual debris found in wastewater sewers. Also, there wasn't a method of shutting off the influent flow, which makes maintenance difficult.
Norton and Stone compared options from various suppliers, and then reviewed the possibilities with the plant staff, which will need to operate the upgrade for many years. (Norton, himself, actually has plant operator's experience and an Ohio Wastewater Plant Operators Class III Permit, so he is especially sensitive to the usual long term operating issues that plant staff face.) At this option discussion meeting, there was a consensus to try chopper pumps, without restoring any of the screening and comminutors in the wet well. A full scale field demonstration by Vaughan Chopper Pumps was well received by the plant staff.
Any new pump would require a modification to the existing pump bases, and to the piping. Norton designed the new pump layout, and then prepared construction documents and solicited bids. Construction was to be done by in-house staff or by another set of quotes and solicitations (to be decided later, depending on staff availability). Five bids were received. Two Vaughan chopper pumps were installed (by a subcontract installer) in August, 2011.
The first two replacements have worked so well, that the two remaining old pumps will be soon replaced in similar fashion. So far it appears that the chopper pumps are working well without any protective screening. The plant plans only to install shutoff gates in the wet well influent sewers (2) so that wet well maintenance will be possible in the future for short periods of time without continuing inflow to the wet well.
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