Sithe Chopper Pump Solves Frequent Clogging Issues at Troublesome Lift Station

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Sithe Chopper Pump Solves Frequent Clogging Issues at Troublesome Lift Station

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Heber Springs, Arkansas, is home to 29 lift stations, servicing approximately 7,500 people. The population can spike in the summer, as the area is a popular vacation spot. People come from all around to enjoy boating and fishing on Greers Ferry Lake and for the excellent trout fishing on the Little Red River.

Pump station details

The Southridge Village lift station is the closest to the wastewater treatment plant, and is particularly troublesome. The inflow comes from residences, an assisted living facility, a hospital and multiple restaurants, resulting in a wide array of challenging solids. The station sees stringy solids, like disposable wipes and mop heads, mixed with oils and grease. The station was constructed in 2000, and has seen a myriad of different pumps over its life. Prior to the more recent issues, the pumps were replaced about every three years. However, in the past two years, the station went through four different pumps due to clogging issues. The city tried grinders, nonclog and vortex pumps, and every pump would clog about two to three times per week. Each clog event would require a two-man team around eight hours to manually pull the pump and unclog by hand, which could cost approximately $600 a week.


Heber Springs Water and Wastewater Utility approached JR Stewart Pump & Equipment Inc., the local Barnes representative, for a new solution to their clogging issues. In May of 2018, Heber Springs purchased and installed a Barnes 4-inch 5 hp Sithe Chopper Pump to replace one of the pumps in the duplex lift station. The installation was easy, since the Sithe chopper was able to utilize the existing rail system. Since installation, the pump has not experienced a single clog or issue, and its sister pump has not either. Because of the success of this station, the City has already ordered another Sithe chopper for a troublesome lift station at a large department store. This new station saw an influx of face masks and latex gloves due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paul Graham, the general manager of the Heber Springs Water and Wastewater Utility, noted that he would eventually like to convert all lift stations to the Sithe chopper, because it gives them peace of mind.

Pain Points

  • The existing pumps clogged multiple times a week, causing headaches for the Wastewater Utility.
  • Each clogging event was typically accompanied with overheating motors, which caused tripped breakers and further maintenance.


  • Heber Springs installed a 5 hp Sithe chopper, and has not had to service the lift station since.

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