Milk company installs stormwater standby pump solution

Monday, 12 April, 2021 | Supplied by: Hydro Innovations

A Victorian milk company needed a stormwater pumping system that required pumping from three separate locations back to the one point, pumping eventually through a common discharge line.

As each pump station could pump at different times, and with differing flow rates from each, several things needed to be considered. This included VFDs, motor sizes, pumps ‘fighting’ with each other for space in the common discharge line, and not overperforming when one pump at one station could be the only one operating in the system.

The company went to Hydro Innovations for an engineered solution. Until that point, the popular option given by most other companies was to supply pumps with large motors to enable them to run at faster speeds to produce the required pressure when all pumps at all stations needed to operate and pump into the same common discharge line. Because the system was being set up as a standby, all six pumps were required to have large motors. This meant that power needed to be provided to these satellite spots to accommodate these larger motors.

According to Hydro Innovations, this was a costly solution, with large motors, large power cables and high energy costs.

Hydro Innovations suggested the use of Gorman-Rupp self-priming pumps in conjunction with series/parallel piping. This is a special piping arrangement that enables each pump to operate independently at each station, allowing pumps to alternate between cycles. When a single pump at any station cannot keep pace with the inflow, the second pump starts up in series with the running pump. This means that both pumps are working together to overcome friction losses in the discharge line instead of against each other. This enabled the use of much smaller motors and smaller power cables, and the need for VFDs was eliminated.

Solids handling was another consideration, as all manner of debris can be washed into the stormwater pumping stations. Hydro Innovations recommended the use of Gorman-Rupp Super T Series sewage and trash pumps for the application, as these pumps can pass spherical solids up to 76 mm, and because of their self-cleaning wear plate system can also pass stringy materials such as rags, gloves, wet wipes and most other things that can blow into the system, like plastic bags. A removable cover plate also gives operators access to pump internals without disconnecting the pump from the pipe system.

Hydro Innovations suggested that the operators would also appreciate how easy the pumps were to maintain. Seal and bearing oil chambers can be inspected in seconds for volume and clarity, and internal pump clearances can be adjusted in a matter of minutes rather than hours, using common hand tools to keep the pumps at peak operational efficiency.

The self-priming pump system was installed with Hydro Innovations designing and building the pump systems with its special piping and valve arrangements.

According to Hydro Innovations, the milk company saved money on capital set-up and enjoys the ongoing energy and low-maintenance cost savings

Image credit: Hydro Innovations. 

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