The Right Pumps Can Keep Any Project on the Right Track

The Right Pumps Can Keep Any Project on the Right Track
by Darrin Ruiz

Dewatering engineering projects rarely precede in a straight line from the Point A problem to the Point B solution. At Xylem, we provide a broad range of products to solve both the expected and unexpected challenges at a job site. With our industry-leading portfolio representing the Godwin Dri-Prime range of automatic self-priming, solids handling, centrifugal pumpsets and the Flygt range of submersible pumpsets for both sales and rental – we give our customers the tools they need to get any job done the right way.

Consider a recent creek culvert bypass project that we completed on schedule and under budget in Fulton County, New York. At the outset, it seemed like a fairly straightforward job: build a bypass that would enable the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to repair an aging culvert that lets the Mayfield Creek run under the heavily traveled Route 30.

However, during the planning process, NYSDOT made two assumptions that would have turned this into a more challenging project:

  1. The team would need to install a cofferdam – or waterway diversion – in the very limited space on either side of the culvert.
  2. Traffic on Route 30 would need to be disrupted.

Neither of those two troublesome assumptions came to pass because my experienced team knew we had the right pumps – and in this case, partners – to arrive at the desired end point in a way that would avoid the anticipated hassles.

Typically, we would have positioned three or four Godwin diesel-driven Dri-Prime pumps at one end of the culvert to push the 14,000 gallons-per-minute GPM flow around the culvert. The limited area didn’t allow for this approach, additionally we were able to bypass during the dry summer season which reduced the flow rate to 7,000 GPM. This allowed for the use one rental Godwin Heidra 600AX 24-inch Axial Flow diesel-driven dewatering pump to push the flow through an 18-inch high-density polypropylene (HDPE) pipe. Since the Godwin Heidra Axial Flow is known for low head and high capacity pumping, it was the right pump for the job.

Our hydraulic-submersible pump sat on the bottom of the creek, while the HDPE pipe was suspended high on the wall of the culvert with a specialized rigging designed by general contractor DH Smith. This allowed the bottom to remain dry for repairs, and avoided running the pipe over the road and causing costly lane closures.

Even with this unconventional approach, the entire installation went off without a hitch in less than the original time estimates.  And because we used one pump – equipped with a level transducer to regulate pump speed based on creek levels – instead of multiple pumps, we saved NYSDOT $20,000 in diesel fuel costs alone.

That’s the power of having the right pumps for any project.  When you combine that with the expertise of our Xylem team, we always come up with the best solution and most cost-effective way to get from Point A to Point B.