It’s no secret that “flushable” wipes can cause problems for pumping systems. They don’t break down in sumps and wet wells, often conglomerating to form a floating mat, while some settle and accumulate on the sump floor, which decreases sump volume. The Submersible Conditioning Pump from Vaughan Company combats that problem, simultaneously mixing and conditioning waste sumps containing solids that both float and settle. The floatable solids can combine to create an iceberg-like floating mass with chunks that separate and get pulled into the suction of the nonclog station pump, effectively clogging the station pump.
The flow from the pump’s mixing nozzle is designed to agitate the sump in such a manner as to break up the floating mat and resuspend the settled solids. In addition, because the pump utilizes a Vaughan Chopper Pump, all of the solids in the sump are reduced in size, which reduces the plugging of downstream pumps and valves.
“Because the conditioning pump also reduces the size of the solids through an effective chopping action, the nonclog station pumps can now operate without troublesome clogging issues,” says Kent Keeran, the company’s chief engineering and vice president of engineering. “Second, the chopping action also ensures that the mixing nozzle will not clog.”
The chopper pump is mounted on a portable stand and fitted with a high-velocity mixing nozzle. It recirculates wet wells by chopping and mixing to produce a homogeneous slurry that is more easily pumped out. Floating mats are removed and solids that have accumulated on the floor are re-suspended. Being portable, it can be used in multiple applications at a single job site, facility or municipality.
“It fits in any sump containing solids that form a mat, or settle out, or clog the dewatering pumps,” says Keeran. “It can be used with up to 8 percent solids in lift station conditioning, basin conditioning, influent station/channel conditioning, holding tank conditioning and digester clean-out/homogenization.”
According to Keeran, Vaughan sold its first conditioning pump in 2010, and saw success with it from the start. “It’s been well received in the wastewater industry as it can be used to keep all waste sumps operating at best efficiency without the need for vacuum trucks to clean the sumps or the need to unclog the station pumps,” he says. “In addition, because the solids in the sump have been reduced in size, downstream equipment suffers fewer problems.”
Keeran says that the municipalities that have installed the pumps typically see a return on investment in as few as four to six months. “Service calls with vacuum trucks and plugging of station pumps are eliminated.” 888/249-2467; www.chopperpumps.com