Temporary Pumping System keeps Wastewater Treatment Plant Operating

Aug. 18, 2005

Heavy rains last winter and spring in Arizona had been a welcome and much needed event, filling most lakes and reservoirs to capacity. However, even though Arizona needed the precipitation, it caused interesting challenges along the way. One challenge took place at Phoenix's 91st Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant, which has a capacity of 180 MGD. At the 91st Avenue plant, after wastewater is processed and treated, the plant's effluent flows via gravity into the nearby Salt River, which is usually dry. As water from the upstream dams was released into the Salt River, the water level in the river rose to levels that had the potential to disrupt the plant's discharge. As the river level continued to rise, the water level of the plant's effluent rose and had the potential to back up into the plant. To eliminate the impact to the plant's operations, the city of Phoenix determined the immediate installation of a temporary system capable of pumping up to 350 MGD from the plant's effluent channel to the river was necessary.

Proposed deployment

The city of Phoenix and its Job Order Contractor, Currier Construction, Inc. requested Godwin Pumps to propose deployment of a temporary pumping system capable of handling the full 350 MGD.

Godwin's western regional manager, Ron Askin, assisted the city in analyzing its needs and quickly submitted a proposal for consideration. The proposed pumping system consisted of 14 Godwin 16-in. Dri-Prime pumps, 14 Godwin 12-in. pumps and three large axial flow pumps powered by Godwin Heidra hydraulic submersible diesel-power units. Because Godwin Dri-Prime pumps are portable and have the ability to automatically prime from dry, they are ideal for emergency installations such as this, according to Askin.

"We committed to having the entire 350 MGD system completely operational in 10 days," said Askin. "We received word from Currier late in the day on Friday that we had the job and we moved fast. We had five pumps on site the following Monday, installation began immediately, and by Monday night, two pumps were operational."

The first trucks were loaded late into the night from Godwin's Corona, CA facility, 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Crews from Water Movers, Godwin's Phoenix distributor, and Godwin Pumps began work at 8 a.m. Saturday.

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) suction and discharge pipes were fused on site and the first pumps placed; 16 additional 48-ft flat bed trucks were loaded from locations around the country and headed for the site. Multiple trucks arrived daily for the next five days and a 10-man crew worked 10 to 12 hours a day until the system was complete.

On arrival, the pumps were placed on a 30-ft wide dike road, which made for tight conditions for installation. Each piece was brought in individually. Suction and discharge pipe were connected and each pump tested when installed. Because of the capacity each pump added to the system, the threat of the plant backing-up diminished daily.

Gary Tibbits, Currier Construction's onsite superintendent said, "These guys did an amazing job of coordinating the delivery and installation of a huge amount of equipment in a very tight window. We are very impressed with their work."

The entire setup was completed in eight days, two days ahead of schedule.

About the Author

Ron Askin