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'Winning combination' of pumps for effluent treatment

08 February 2011

A potato processor in the North East of England has installed seepex progressive cavity pumps on their effluent treatment plant

Wastewater from potato processing is treated to remove solids and reduce the COD of the resulting effluent. The existing effluent plant had a selection of progressive cavity pumps from different suppliers which were not performing and which were proving expensive to maintain.

seepex engineers were asked to look at the system of centrifuge feed and dewatered sludge discharge pumps to recommend ways of improving system performance, reduce life cycle costs and maintenance time. On surveying the system seepex identified that pump selection and design were a major factor in the excessive wear experienced, resulting in sludge cake pumps not being able to handle the products.

The seepex response was rapid; to solve an immediate sludge handling problem a pump from the T range was supplied. This BTHE open hopper pump, incorporating a concentrically driven auger feed screw running on a synthetic liner, has been developed specifically for efficient handling of sticky dewatered sludge up to 45% ds.

Due to the design of the auger feed screw the hopper is self cleaning, stopping sludge build up within the hopper, preventing bridging from occurring and removing the need for expensive bridge breakers.

The pump is also equipped with an optimised feeding chamber (compression zone) before the pumping elements of rotor and stator, ensuing constant and efficient feed into the stator cavities.

The process improvements apparent from the trial period resulted in the customer ordering two pumps of the same design to handle up to 4m3 of sludge per hour at 20% ds from centrifuges.
At the same time two pumps from the N range featuring Smart Stator Technology (SST) were ordered to provide a balanced and constant feed to the centrifuge. The benefit of SST was apparent to the customer’s engineers; the design enables the stator to be removed in two halves without the removal of pipework thus reducing maintenance time and costs.

Adjustment of the retaining segments will increase stator life, and when the stator is replaced the spares costs are less, so major reductions in whole life costs can be achieved.
So - One year on ….. to date no breakdowns have been experienced by the plant, the pumps continue to perform well, downtime has been eliminated and costs of ownership drastically reduced.

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