Aboveground Lift Station Eliminates Confined-Space Access for Hospital Workers

Aug. 1, 2018

U.K. facility installs system in less than one day


Tough-to-access submersible pumps complicated life and increased costs for maintenance workers at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, U.K.

“Our original submersible pump sets were no longer maintainable by our in-house staff,” said Leslie Dey, estates officer for the hospital. “Keeping up with the training to send anyone down there would have been a massive cost.”

Routine operations and maintenance items, such as pulling a pump to change a seal or impeller, required dangerous confined-space entry, including permits, tripods, safety harnesses, air monitoring equipment and more. 

“A lot of it was just far too costly… to do in house,” Dey said. “It was eventually all contracted out.” 

Constantly increasing patient levels and frequent flushing of rags, gloves and other disposable products contributed to frequent and costly pump clog events. These pump clogs always resulted in temporary service interruptions and were contracted out at a great cost to the hospital.

“We now live in a very disposable world,” Dey said. “Use a disposable wipe to clean things down… and it’s popped in the nearest toilet and left for someone else to deal with.”

The Solution

Dey was able to take back ownership of his lift station equipment and dramatically reduce operations costs by converting from submersible pumps to Smith & Loveless’ Everlast wet well mounted pump station

Everlast wet well mounted pump stations simplify operator access and eliminate confined-space concerns by mounting a complete lift station aboveground and inside a quick-access enclosure. A single operator can complete routine inspection and maintenance tasks, paving the way for low life-cycle costs.

“The beauty of the equipment all being aboveground is that all of our guys can access that fairly easy,” Dey said. “It’s all inside that one neat little package that they can all maintain.”

The system was completely factory-built and shipped directly to the jobsite. Installation was completed in less than a day after the station was set in place, connections of the inlet and outlet piping were made, and electrical connections were complete.

“It allowed us to maintain no disruption to the hospital whatsoever, and from our reactive team’s point of view, that’s fantastic,” Dey said. “We could ensure we had all services running right up until switchover.”

The Results

Dey and his staff inspect their Everlast wet well mounted pump station daily and conduct routine maintenance tasks with ease. Since the switch from submersibles, contractor costs have been eliminated by the hospital. 

“This option of the aboveground pump station not only allowed us to take back ownership of our equipment and be able to maintain it ourselves in-house, we’ve dropped the service contract for the unit entirely,” Dey said. “We just haven’t needed it.”

While the hospital used to experience frequent pump clog events, Smith & Loveless’ mono-port X-Peller non-clog pump impeller has eliminated pump clogs at the site during its first year of service. 

“We’ve almost forgotten we have the pump station on site, which for us is a fantastic position to be in, in comparison to where we were previously,” Dey said. 

All in all, the aboveground station has made a major difference to the maintenance workers at Royal Cornwall Hospital. They can safely and easily maintain the aboveground pump station, without the use of contractors, and apply these time savings to other critical tasks at the hospital.

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“I would 100% recommend this product,” said Dey. “You can take back ownership for your group without relying on contractors to come in. Your own in-house team are all trained by Smith & Loveless to be able to deal with any faults they may or may not come across in the future.”

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