When Veolia Water North America needed reliablepumps that were easily serviced, the company contacted Netzsch. Veolia North America operates the solids processing facilities and wastewater treatment process for Wilmington, Del., and outlying areas. This includes a 134-million-gal-per-day high-rate activated sludge plant, three pump stations, industrial pretreatment program, industrial leachate and 11,000-dry-tons-per-day sludge disposal.
Veolia’s annual pump maintenance budget was $250,000. Aleksey Reznik, plant general manager for Veolia, noted that this maintenance cost “was insane.” Initially he focused on improving the thickened sludge transport process to lower costs.
“We did a 90-day test on our worst thickened sludge application—a feed line to our digesters with 3% to 4% solids at 60-psi pressure,” Reznik said. According to plant operators, two progressing cavity pumps (PCPs) in this application had problems because of their inferior design with a very high angularity due to a short coupling rod and grease-lubricated joints.
A Netzsch Tornado T2 pump replaced one of the PCPs. The second PCP was replaced, but with a traditionally designed rotary lobe pump from another solution provider. However, that rotary lobe pump was unable to handle this heavy-duty application and also was replaced with a Tornado T2 rotary lobe pump.
To date, both Tornado T2 rotary lobe pumps are working 24/7 in that application, providing a low-maintenance and cost-effective solution. The pumps have been running continuously for two years.