Pumping stations solve clogging with Xylem’s new compact pump

Pumping stations solve clogging with Xylem’s new compact pump

The new Flygt 3069 compact wastewater pump has solved extreme clogging issues at two pumping stations in Europe. The new pump has Adaptive N™ technology, which prevents clogging and lowers energy use. Read the results of two long-term trials at pumping stations in the Netherlands and Italy.

Italy: Via Visan Malo pumping station

The Via Visan Malo municipal wastewater pumping station is located in a small village in the province of Vicenza, in northern Italy. The station was having significant problems due to extreme clogging caused by the high levels of debris in the municipality’s wastewater. In 2012, operators at the station agreed to install and trial a prototype of Xylem’s new Flygt 3069 wastewater pump in order to deal with these challenges.

Unplanned and costly maintenance

The biggest challenge facing the wastewater station is the high concentration of solid and abrasive materials delivered to the plant by the municipality’s wastewater system. In the past, these materials would cause the station’s pumps to clog at least three or four times a year, requiring the station to undergo frequently unplanned and costly maintenance cycles.

Maintenance operations at the station were so extensive that the pumps had to be physically removed and serviced up to three times a year, requiring operators to provide costly replacement pumps in order to avoid interruption to operations. Alto Vicentino Servizi, the company managing the station, knew that a solution was required that would deliver reliable pumping and address increasing maintenance and energy costs.

How Adaptive N technology works

Normally, pumps will clog when solid objects pass through them and get caught on one of the leading edges of the impeller vane. Materials then slide towards the perimeter of the inlet and clog the system. With the revolutionary Adaptive N technology, however, solid objects will instead slide along the tip of the impeller vane inside the relief groove.

A guide pin in the insert ring pushes solid materials away from the center of the impeller, along the leading edge and out through the relief groove. The impeller moves axially upward if required, allowing solid material and debris to pass through smoothly.

Clog-free for over 5,000 pumping hours

During the prototype’s four-year trial period, operators found that the compact pump provided continuous clog-free pumping, despite the challenging wastewater being processed by the station. Since its installation, it has operated without interruption for over 5,000 pumping hours, with up to ten system starts per day.

The plant operators were also pleased to note that operational efficiency improved considerably at the pumping station as a result of the new technology. A buildup of debris over time slows down a pump’s impeller efficiency significantly, making it work harder, which increases energy consumption. With the compact Flygt pump, stress on the shaft, seals and bearings is reduced, ensuring sustainable, low energy use.

Increased flow and energy efficiency

Since its installation at the Via Visan Malo pumping station, the new pump has also been able to handle a larger flow than that of its predecessor (10.5 liters per second vs. 7.5 liters per second).

Despite the increased flow, pumping time at the station is quicker and more efficient, leading to overall energy savings at the plant of at least 10 percent.

The Netherlands: Platenmakerstraat pumping station

Located in the village of Elst in the Municipality of Overbetuwe, the Platenmakerstraat pumping station receives wastewater containing a significant amount of materials, such as garments and personal sanitary items. These challenging materials caused extreme and frequent clogging, meaning that the pump station operators had to unclog the pump almost every week.

A pumping solution with a small footprint

In an effort to solve this problem, the municipality agreed to trial the new Flygt 3069 compact wastewater pump. The pump was installed at the Platenmakerstraat station in November 2012, starting a three and a half year trial.

Operators of the Platenmakerstraat station wanted a pumping solution with a small footprint that would ensure maximum reliability, lower energy consumption and reduce unscheduled maintenance requirements.

Dramatic reduction in call outs and energy usage

Operators of the wastewater pumping station noted a significant improvement with the new solution. Clogging has reduced from an average of 50 times a year to just once or twice a year, reducing maintenance costs annually by €8,500. While energy consumption was not strictly measured during the trial, it is estimated that it was reduced by as much as 40 percent. The new pump replaced a vortex impeller, which uses more energy.

“I was amazed with the quality of pumping delivered by the prototype,” says Wim Hermsen, Outside Mechanic, Municipality of Overbetuwe. “The challenging nature of the wastewater meant that the pump had to work really hard – at times the pump operated nonstop for up to 72 hours – but it consistently delivered clog-free pumping throughout the trial. During the entire length of the trial we had to unclog the pump a mere four or five times, and that was due to large garments or soda cans being caught up in the wastewater flow.”

Read more about the Flygt compact pump range

by Chad Henderson