In August 2011, the Forsyth County water treatment plant experienced a filter underdrain failure. Due to the high water demand, an outside contractor was hired to remove the 6 ft of anthracite and repair the underdrain as quickly as possible. The contractor removed the anthracite using buckets on ropes, which was very labor-intensive.
The following spring, another filter underdrain (filter No. 1) showed signs of failure and was taken offline to prevent the catastrophic failure that filter No. 2 had experienced the year before. Luckily, a plant expansion had been completed before the first filter’s problem, so they had time to remove the media without the risk of running out of water. Research revealed an eductor offered by Flo Trend Systems that looked like it could move the media without the rope-and-bucket process used the year before. A call was placed to Flo Trend Systems with an explanation of the situation and needs, and it was determined that a 3-in. eductor would do the job.
The eductor arrived and staff fitted it with rigid suction and discharge hose, connected it to a standard fire hose and put it to work. It provided enough lift to suck the anthracite out of the 20-ft-deep filter from the top. The staff thought it would need to place the eductor down in the filter and push the media out, but, to their surprise, the eductor sucked the media out with no problem. The only manual labor required was moving the discharge hose from one filter to the next.
The eductor saved time and money once staff brought it on site, and they now have it on hand for replacing the media once the underdrain is repaired.