by Adrian Rijnbeek, Sales Engineer, Xylem, and President, Water Industry Operators Association of Australia
North East Water provides water and wastewater services to 41 localities across North East Victoria, Australia, serving an estimated 122,000 people in an area of approximately 20,000 square kilometres. The region extends from Corryong in the east, along the Murray River to Yarrawonga, then south to Benalla, and the alpine towns of Bright, Mount Beauty, and Dartmouth.
The municipal sewer pump station at Jordyn Terrace in Wangaratta receives very challenging wastewater containing a large quantity of sanitary items, and other fibrous waste objects, that cause “ragging” of the pumps. This resulted in pumps having to be lifted and unblocked twice or three times every week.
In July 2016, North East Water became the first water business in Australia to install Xylem’s Flygt Concertor system with the aim of resolving this issue and delivering clog-free pumping to Jordyn Terrace’s wastewater pump station.
Since the installation, station managers have reported no blockages or clogging issues at the station, as well as a cleaner station with less visible material in the sump.
Jordyn Terrace in Wangaratta, North East Victoria, is located within a busy residential area and close to a retirement village. The pumping station receives very challenging wastewater, including personal sanitary products and towelling, that caused the pumps to clog a number of times a week. This frequent clogging required operations and maintenance staff to travel to the site to remove the blockage up to three times a week.
“Regular clogging of the pump station was a serious issue for us,” said Grant Waite, Manager Assets and Operations, North East Water.
“As a result, operation and maintenance staff had to leave their daily work schedules to travel to the pump station, unclog the pump and get the station up and running again. In addition to manpower, a maintenance crane truck was needed to perform the pump lifts which meant it had to be taken away from other projects, which added further expense to the repair job.”
New integrated clog-free technology
In July 2016, North East Water agreed to have Flygt Concertor installed at the Jordyn Terrace pump station in order to resolve the chronic clogging experienced at the station.
The team had high hopes in this new system, as it combines Flygt’s well-known self-cleaning hydraulics, Adaptive-N, as well as intelligent functionalities like pump cleaning. This function activates when a clogging instance is detected and starts operating the impeller at different speeds and directions to remove the debris. Its efficiency has been proven in many applications all over the world and, together with other functions that ensure trouble-free pumping, offers a new level of reliability.
After installing the Flygt Concertor system, clogging issues at the Jordyn Terrace wastewater treatment plant were completely eliminated.
“We have found Xylem’s Flygt equipment to be of excellent quality so we were happy to trial the new wastewater pumping system. The trial pump we received is still running in our station and so far we haven’t had one single case of clogging,” Mr Waite said.
Peace of mind in the long run
Concertor’s short-term results in Jordyn Terrace were certainly a relief for the station’s operators, but their main concern was to find a sustainable solution that can bring peace of mind in the long run.
This is where the system’s flexibility played an important role. One of its main hardware elements, the pump impeller, is offered in three different materials, to adapt to different conditions: Flygt Hard-Iron, duplex stainless steel and stainless steel.
A high chrome alloy, Flygt Hard-Iron™ is five times more wear resistant than duplex stainless steel.* In accelerated wear tests, Hard-Iron kept working efficiently and showed minimal wear after pumping water with a very high concentration of extremely abrasive particles. This durability and reliability saves customers time and money.
Mr Waite said, “The Hard-Iron™ impeller will ensure that the current pump performance is maintained for extended periods. In an application like this, with wastewater that contains a high level of non-biological solids, it is the best option.”
Compact design and more functionality
Flygt Concertor is proof that new technologies with sophisticated integrated intelligence for wastewater pumping do not require more components or complexities, rather Concertor is user friendly and simple to install, commission and operate.
“Since Flygt Concertor has been installed we haven’t experienced any clogging issues at the station, which is a dramatic improvement to how the station’s old pumps had been running. The new wastewater pumping system has also had a positive impact on the local community – less visits to the station by large maintenance trucks and personnel. Station managers have also reported that the sump is cleaner as a result,” said Mr Waite.
*Hard-Iron™ is a high-strength alloy containing 25 per cent chromium and three per cent carbon. During the solidification process, the chromium and carbon transform into very hard carbides. This makes Hard-Iron™ highly resistant to abrasive wear and erosion-corrosion.
This partner content is brought to you by Xylem. For more information, visit www.xylem.com