Selecting the right pump to avoid raw sewage handling headaches

Mike Edwards   


Based in Baton Rouge, LA, Ford-Gelatt provides industrial pumping equipment and repair services to the oil and gas, power generation, and chemical process industries. Over the past 25 years, service representatives from Ford-Gelatt have supported the maintenance team working in-house at a local chemical manufacturing facility.

This chemical manufacturer is the second largest producer of chemicals in the U.S., and they have worked with Ford-Gelatt for over two decades to source and select pumps for a variety of applications.

When the chemical manufacturer experienced frequent clogging of their horizontal self-priming pumps, they contacted Scott Swilley, Industrial Equipment Specialist at Ford-Gelatt, to find a solution that would enable them to avoid flooding and eliminate the related clean-up costs.

The Challenge

Two horizontal self-priming pumps had been pumping from two separate 9-foot deep sewage sumps. These pumps were supposed to send raw sewage collected from the chemical manufacturing facility to the nearby wastewater treatment facility, but they clogged excessively and led to inconvenient flooding on two separate occasions. Each time the flooding occurred, employees had to be moved out of the manufacturing facility into rented trailers placed off-site and a third-party company had to come clean and sanitize the flooded area. The clean-up was a lengthy process, and costly!

Not wanting to risk a flood of raw sewage a third time, the chemical manufacturer’s maintenance manager contacted Swilley to discuss replacing the self-priming pumps. In discussing the problem with Swilley, it was clear that the new pumps to be selected for this sewage lift application needed to meet the following requirements:

  • Non-Clog. It was critical to select non-clog pumps that could handle the solids and raw sewage that entered the sumps. The new pumps needed to reliably transport the raw sewage out of the sumps to the effluent treatment facility.
  • Rated for Continuous Duty. The pumps in these sumps operated almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; so it was important to install non-clog pumps that could run reliably for extended periods of time.
  • Durable and Reliable. The maintenance manager’s goal was to avoid flooding, so it was critical that a pump with proven reliability be installed in these sumps.

This article was written by Kelly McCollum, Regional Manager, BJM Pumps. For the solution, click here

Print this page


Stories continue below