Case Studies

Large Utility Turns to Artificial Intelligence at Major Pump Station

The Genesee County (Mich.) Drain Commissioner, Division of Water & Waste Services (GCDC-WWS) is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the county sanitary sewer collection system and water distribution system. GCDC-WWS owns and operates three wastewater treatment facilities: the Anthony Ragnone Treatment Plant (ARTP), Sanitary Disposal District #3 Treatment Plant and Sanitary Disposal District #7 Lagoons.

Building an Invisible and Soundless Power Plant in Italy

The Canale Villoresi, located north of Milan, Italy, was designed for agricultural irrigation while providing water to the city of Milan. The paths running along the canal were used for recreational purposes and cross through some of the most beautiful natural parks in Lombardy. Later, European mandates required the reduction of water consumption by 30%, adversely impacting a region that benefits greatly from agriculture and farming income.

Mixing It Up in Michigan

The Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority (YCUA) was formed in 1974 when the Charter Township of Ypsilanti and the City of Ypsilanti combined their respective water departments. YCUA purchases water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and distributes it to approximately 112,000 people. The YCUA wastewater system includes more than 200 miles of collection sewers, more than 60 miles of interceptor sewers, nearly 23 miles of sanitary force mains, 32 pump stations and a wastewater treatment plant.

A New Mix

Built in the 1980s, the Atherton Wastewater Treatment Plant in Atherton, Mo., is operated by Little Blue Valley Sewer District. The facility was designed to reduce the primary process chain to preliminary bar screening and aerated grit removal, while relying solely on secondary treatment performed in four standalone 42-ft-by-400-ft aeration/clarification basins.

Sticking With Innovation That Works

With a population of about 15,000, Steinbach is the third largest city in Manitoba and one of the fastest-growing areas in Canada. Its Waterworks Department treats and distributes potable water as well as wastewater for all residents.

Fighting the Flood

Running along the Barnegat Peninsula in Ocean County, N.J.—a thin sliver of land located between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay—Route 35 is not just any road; it is the road. When Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey on October 29, 2012, it left unparalleled devastation in its path, and the segment of Route 35 between Bay Head and Seaside Park was no exception.

No Compromise on Reliability

The Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre (ROPEC) is the wastewater treatment plant for the City of Ottawa, ON, handling more than 111 mgd of raw sewage. ROPEC provides secondary level treatment (physical and biological) of domestic, commercial and industrial wastewater, before the treated effluent is returned to the Ottawa River.

Clogs Draw a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card

Although they were by no means overwhelming, clogging problems in a county prison wastewater treatment system had become a nuisance, and it was time to take action with new technology to solve the problem.

Chester County Prison is located approximately ten miles south of West Chester, Pa., the county seat of Chester County. The current prison was opened in 1959 and operated under the original construction until 1983, when parts of the prison underwent renovations and expansion.


Responding to Lift Station Woes

The Fond du Lac (Wisc.) Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility treats the City of Fond du Lac’s wastewater, along with that of 18 neighboring entities; the water is then discharged to nearby Lake Winnebago. The city’s population is 45,000, but with neighboring communities included, the plant handles flow from about 75,000. The average hydraulic flow capacity is 9.84 mgd, with a peak flow of 50 mgd. On average, the facility, which is located at the south end of Lake Winnebago, treats about 7.5 mgd of wastewater.


Big Savings Near the Big Easy

St. Tammany Parish, La., which has a population of approximately 250,000, sits north of New Orleans on the opposite side of Lake Ponchartrain. Utilities Inc. of Louisiana (UIL) operates 192 sewage lift stations and 30 wastewater treatment plants in St. Tammany Parish. In 2011, Gulf States Engineering Co. Inc. – a Xylem distributor from Covington, La. – began a working relationship with UIL to replace lift station equipment that was dealing with an increasingly problematic wastewater stream.

Rags to Riches

James Island, S.C., is nestled amongst the waters of the Charleston Harbor and the meandering Stono and Folly rivers. Once covered in farmland, James Island is now primarily a residential community that has protected the small-town, rural feel its residents and visitors know and enjoy. In this bucolic location, the James Island Public Service District (JIPSD) provides town services for fire protection, wastewater collection, solid waste collection and street name signs to its 24,000 residents.

Cutting Vibes & Reducing Maintenance

Ada Township – a community with a population of approximately 13,000 – is located several miles east of Grand Rapids in Kent County, Mich. The township owns and operates its own sanitary sewer collection system and is responsible for all maintenance and replacement. The majority of the collection system flows by gravity to a pump station, where it is sent to the City of Grand Rapids. Total flow is approximately 1 mgd.


Integrating Intelligence

The Suffolk County (N.Y.) Department of Public Works Stony Brook Pump Station was facing ongoing interruptions to pumping operations as a result of ragging – a common challenge in wastewater pumping where a buildup of fibrous materials leads to frequent pump blockages.

Too Much of a Good Thing

The Des Moines (Iowa) Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) protects public health and enhances the environment by recycling wastewater and hauling liquid wastes. The WRA includes a conveyance system, which connects each of the authority’s members to a wastewater treatment plant. During the large storm events in the past, combined sewer overflow would be discharged to the Des Moines River untreated.


Crystal Clear in Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake, Ill., is a city in McHenry County. Named after Crystal Lake – a lake located 1.6 miles west-southwest of downtown – the city is about 45 miles northwest of Chicago, and it has a population of approximately 40,000. The southeast portion of the Crystal Lake shore was first made available to the public for general recreational use in 1856.

Pump Station Retrofit Ends Storm Water Woes

For many years, different types of flooding tormented residents of Lyndhurst, N.J., in several parts of town. Residents were increasingly becoming concerned about their personal safety as well as property values.


Failing, old long-shaft pumps at the Lyndhurst Sewer Department’s storm water station were out on maintenance issues more than in operation. Existing pumping equipment was noisy, prone to blockage by debris and suffering from lube system problems. Removing the equipment for service was not only a challenge, but also expensive.

Growing School, Vanishing Clogs

Operators of a wastewater pumping station at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman were facing serious clogging issues. They had to frequently lift the station’s pump and manually remove waste solids and grease buildup. Furthermore, as the station couldn’t handle the flow during peak hours, it was not unusual to have over flows that would reach the adjacent roads.

Betting on Efficient Pumping

The 200-acre Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., opened on July 30, 1870, just three miles away from the seashore town of Long Branch. The racetrack is surrounded by a series of barns and other support facilities that house in excess of 500 horses during track operations. At one time, the storm water from the barns in the racetrack backstretch area drained directly into Branchport Creek, impacting the water quality of the receiving waters downstream from the facility.


Passing the Test

Operators of a municipal wastewater pumping station in the rural town of Lomma on Sweden’s southwestern coast agreed to install and trial a new wastewater pumping system in an effort to solve clogging issues. In addition to delivering clog-free pumping, Xylem’s Flygt Concertor, a pumping system with integrated intelligence, significantly reduced energy consumption at the wastewater pumping station.

Safe Passage

Wenatchee, Wash., is stereotypically small-town America, with white picket fences and lush apple orchards. Many visitors to the picturesque agricultural community in central Washington also pay a visit to the town’s biggest tourist attraction – Rocky Reach Dam, with its colorful flowerbeds, visitor’s center and historical and technical museum. The dam, operated by the Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD), is one of nine hydroelectric dams along the 1,200 miles of the Columbia River in Washington.