As one of the busiest airports in Europe, the Heathrow Airport Water Services Department has a network of 120 pumping stations serving more than 200,000 passengers every day,1 making it critical to maintain reliable water and wastewater service.
However, the airport faced a chronic clogging issue – an industrywide challenge – at one of its wastewater pumping stations, which receives toilet waste from aircrafts. Aircraft toilet waste often contains a high level of non-biological solids, including various plastic material, wipes, nappies and clothing. This material can be hard to pump because it can easily get caught on the impeller and partially block the equipment, leading to increased energy consumption and in the worst case, a full blockage.2
The Heathrow team trusted the expertise of Xylem, a 25-year partner, to help solve this particularly challenging problem. Xylem analyzed the airport’s wastewater operations and recommended the Flygt Concertor®, the world’s first wastewater pumping system with integrated intelligence, and Heathrow agreed to a trial installation.
“Concertor’s compact design allowed it to fit into the existing position within the pump station, without any extra investment required to enlarge the cabinet,” said Ian Jully of Heathrow Airport Water Services Department. “It was simple to install and very user-friendly. Actually, the trial pump was installed by one of the airport’s water services mechanical technicians, who was not experienced in the commissioning of wastewater pumping systems and quickly gained confidence in the ease of installation and operation.”
The once troublesome Central Area Sanitation Unit produced energy savings of up to 53 percent and clog-free pumping with no emergency call-outs during the six months of the trial from 2015 to 2016.
Heathrow continues to partner with Xylem in 2019.