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How Tier 4 Emissions Regulations will Impact You

WHAT A DIESEL “TIER” RATING MEANS

In a move to improve air quality in the 1990's, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the Clean Air Act, began regulating the emissions from off-road diesel engines – particularly Sulfur, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), and Particulate Matter (PM). Engine manufacturers are allowed to do this reduction in stages called "tiers". For off-road diesel engines, there are 4 tiers with the final stage, Tier 4, being done in two phases – interim and Final Tier 4.

As of 2015, Xylem will be transitioning our diesel pump offerings for the United States to what is called Final Tier 4 (FT4) engines.

HOW TIER 4 EMISSIONS REGULATIONS WILL IMPACT YOU

First and foremost, these engines help to improve air quality where you live! These engines produce fewer harmful emissions, thereby improving the quality of life for people living in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently published a study done by W. James Gauderman, Ph.D., of USC's Keck School of Medicine, highlighting the improvements to health of children in California over the last 20 years due to better air quality (you can read the results of the study at NEJM).

The biggest impact Xylem has seen is the cost increase of diesel engines as we start building diesel pumps with Final Tier 4 compliant engines. Engine models that were mechanical for previous tiers are now electronic, and Final Tier 4 engines have more components: valves, sensors, wires, higher functioning ECU (for engines that were already electronic), diesel particulate filters (DPF), selective catalytic reduction (SCR), diesel oxidative catalyst (DOC), all of which increase the price of the diesel engine and hence the cost of a diesel driven pump.

From an operation standpoint we are still learning what all the changes will be, but here are some things we can tell you now:

  • Standard maintenance (oil/filter changes, etc.) should remain about the same.
  • Most of these engines are now electronic, which means when you purchase a new Godwin diesel pump you will get a Godwin Primeguard Controller included with your new pump. (This is an awesome feature - more on this at a later date!)
  • Engines over 74hp will be using something called diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). If you have purchased a diesel truck in the past few years, you are probably already familiar with DEF.

THE XYLEM OPTIONS

The most important thing to know about Final Tier 4 engines – DON'T BE SCARED! Xylem is ready and willing to help you with the transition to Final Tier 4 and we have multiple options for you. For starters:

  • Rental units – If it's the cost of buying a new diesel driven pump that has you concerned and you are looking for a temporary option, why not rent? Xylem has a large rental fleet available 24/7 and the service to support this equipment.
  • Consider different engine options – At Xylem, we are trying to meet a new goal of offering two different diesel options for every pump model. You can view these options on our website on pages like our CD150M, CD103M and NC150 pumps (for some models, the secondary option is still in test mode – I will update you along the way as these become available). How the engine supplier decides to meet the emissions requirements significantly impacts the price of the engine, so look at both options to decide what is best for you.
  • Electric pumps – Xylem rents and sells electric pumps. Not only are electric pumps generally less expensive initially, but if you have electric power available on your job site you can potentially reduce both your equipment and operating expenses by using electric pumps.

Don't miss my next post – METHODS OF MEETING THE NEW EMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

by Molly Russell