As climate change leads to bigger stormwater events, Xylem helps customers address this challenge with reliable, easy-to-use pumping solutions that save costs.
When two pumps in their customer’s stormwater system failed, Construction EcoServices (CES) needed to find a solution that was more efficient and easier for the client to maintain. CES chose a solution from Xylem including two Flygt pumps with MultiSmart controls and FlygtCloud SCADA monitoring. The smaller size of the pumps makes them easier to service, and the fully monitored system delivers operational savings and peace of mind.
Stormwater in Southeast Texas is a big deal – especially since Hurricane Harvey dumped over 60 inches (152 cm) of rain when it stalled over the area for five continuous days in 2017. In fact, Construction EcoServices (CES) has built a thriving business around stormwater since 2002.
“We help clients with a full range of stormwater services,” says Stephen Thomson, Senior Manager for CES. “We really help clients manage their complete stormwater risk – by assessing the risk, designing and installing stormwater controls, and then providing them all the services to maintain them.”
The company is active in the Houston area, where they provide services for a multitude of customers. Stormwater controls, which include infrastructure and best management practices to minimize the effects of stormwater, must be inspected monthly in many areas.
“Ever since Harvey, the counties have been stricter about stormwater compliance – for example, making sure trash is cleared off the trash racks, keeping an eye on ponds to be sure they’re vegetated, and making sure they don’t have sink holes.”
Large pumps for stormwater runoff failed
At one large retail complex, CES maintains the stormwater control for a national property management firm. The stormwater control system that CES manages for them consists of a four-acre pond that collects runoff from acres of parking lots and shopping center roofs. The pond itself drains to a stormwater pump station through three large gravity pipes.
In 2018, the property management company had a problem with its pump station. Two of its pumps – long-shaft mixed flow pumps – failed, leaving only the third pump running. What made the problem worse is that the size of the pumps made them difficult to remove from the station. The pumps were 31-feet (9.4-meters) long, not including the motors, and their size made them costly to remove for maintenance. CES also pulls the pumps each year to clean the station of sediment.
“Just to have the old pumps pulled cost about $9,000 to $10,000 each time,” Thomson said. “And it would take a full day.”
With two of the station’s pumps out of service, Thomson knew just who to call. “That’s when we called Hahn,” Thomson said, referring to Hahn Equipment, the exclusive distributor of Flygt, a Xylem brand, in the Houston area. “They always take care of me.”
Hahn has been selling Flygt pumps and associated equipment for over 30 years.
Adding Flygt pumps with shorter shafts and remote monitoring
When CES called, Alex Rangel at Hahn was on the other end of the phone. Rangel immediately contacted the local Flygt Applications Engineer, Patrick X. Palacios, to assist with pump selection. The team recommended a combined solution of two 60-HP Flygt LL 3300 pumps, a Flygt MultiSmart controller, and FlygtCloud SCADA to provide remote monitoring and diagnostics. The Flygt LL 3300 pumps are close-coupled mixed flow pumps with much shorter shafts.
The Flygt solution would replace the 90-HP pumps with more efficient motors while matching the 7,300 gallon (27.6 cubic-meter) flow per minute for each pump. Flygt manufactures its own motors, so there is no need to contact a separate vendor. This means future maintenance is simpler and faster. The new pumps also require less power, and their compact size would make maintenance easier.
Complicating the upgrade, however, were three pump tubes at the site. The tubes were cast-in-place in the shape of three parallel L’s at the base of the station. Stormwater would flow by gravity from the pond into the horizontal leg of each L. The pumps were installed in the vertical leg of each L. The L-shaped tubes would have to stay in place, but they were too large for the new pumps. To overcome the issue, the Flygt team designed smaller-diameter tubes to fit inside the existing tubes and house the new pumps.
A fully monitored system that provides peace of mind
The system was installed by Hahn for CES’s client in 2018. About one year later, the Flygt Multismart and SCADA system began to identify very short run times for pump number three – the one old pump that had not been replaced. The pump was failing, and the system caught it. As a result, Hahn and the team replaced the third pump in 2020.
Today, the stormwater station is a fully monitored and user-controlled system that provides savings and peace of mind.
“We still pull the pumps once a year to clean the station of sand and sediment,” Thomson says. “Only now, Hahn can pull the new pumps with smaller equipment. And instead of $9,000 to $10,000 per site visit, it’s just a minor service charge now. And if the pumps ever need service, they could be serviced right there on site.”
The compact size of the new Flygt pumps, their efficiency, and their connectivity to FlygtCloud SCADA have proven to be a great value to CES’s client.
“The property owner is able to monitor the levels of the lift station, monitor for power outages, and capture run times with the SCADA system,” said Rangel from Hahn Equipment. “Now, the property owner has the peace of mind they wanted in the face of future hurricanes and flash floods.”
Learn more about Xylem’s solutions for stormwater pump stations and flood relief.