Centralia, Wash., Lift Stations Use New Chopper Pumps for New Sewage

April 12, 2012
Disposable, throwaway products are making raw sewage pumping tougher than ever
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The Jefferson Street Pump Station at the city of Centralia, Wash., had a problem demanding a cost-effective solution. According to Greg Boone, lead collection technician from Centralia, "We pulled the [originally installed non-clog] pumps over 40 times during 2007...It takes two employees to pull a pump; that accumulates 2 hours [4 man-hours] each time the station was visited."

The original non-clog pumps had provided acceptable service when they had been installed about 10 years earlier. But the changing nature of today's sewage — carrying ever-increasing amounts of debris such as disposable floor wipes — has rendered these pumps ineffective. The floor wipes and other rags, hair, and debris wind together to make a matted ball, blocking off flow to the pump intakes, generating high-level alarm and overflow emergencies.

Greg Boone, who oversees the city's 25 lift stations, contacted Vaughan's representative, Mike Hoskison of PumpTech Inc., to find a solution. Hoskison then invited Boone and six of his workers to Vaughan Co. of Montesano, Wash., where Vaughan set up a demonstration tank and pumped and chopped an entire box of disposable floor wipes without problems, giving the Centralia folks real hope for a solution.

In mid-November 2007, Centralia ordered two Vaughan model PE4P6CS-088 vertical pedestal chopper pumps with 15 hp, 1,760-rpm motors, delivered about four weeks later. These pumps use Vaughan's flushless, cartridge mechanical seal, simplifying the installation. They are specified for 640 U.S. gpm at 41 ft total dynamic head (TDH).

The pumps were installed in February 2008. According to Boone, "...We have not had to pull either [replacement Vaughan] pump. This is a big money saving..." Recently the city purchased another Vaughan pump to solve a similar problem at another pump station.

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