A Rewarding Restoration: Submersible Pump Replacement at IN Lift Station Cuts Repair Costs, Improves Performance

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The Cedar Cove lift station controls after the renovation.
The Cedar Cove lift station controls after the renovation.

Submersible Pump Replacement at IN Lift Station Cuts Repair Costs, Improves Performance

By Sarah Huber

The population of Fishers, Ind., a suburb of Indianapolis lying northeast of the city, is rapidly growing with an increase of about 110 percent since 2000. In 2002, the town's wastewater treatment plant expanded to its current capacity of 8 million gallons per day (mgd), although it normally sees flows on an average of 6.2 mgd.

The Cedar Cove lift station, one of 22 in the town, was in major need of renovations by 2011. Constructed in the early 1990s, the duplex station serves an apartment complex and residential area of around 350 units. It was exhibiting a number of problems, including outdated controls, wet-well corrosion and failed valving. But perhaps the biggest problem was the two unreliable submersible pumps that were frequently failing due to clogging and seal damage. They were 15-HP, 230-volt, three-phase pumps with vortex impellers, but they were facing consistent difficulty passing the large amount of debris and stringy solids that were passing through the station.

Inside the wet well, Barnes 4SHV pumps eliminate clogging and increase pumping efficiency.
Inside the wet well, Barnes 4SHV pumps eliminate clogging and increase pumping efficiency.

The station was also experiencing frequent maintenance calls, costing the municipality approximately $8,500 per year in repairs. As such, the town of Fishers was forced to purchase a third pump that could be rotated into production slots in order to facilitate repairs while still maintaining lift station capacity. Although the municipality's own maintenance team and crane trucks would respond to the service calls, it was required to send out a team, including an electrician, every time the pump would fail in order to repair it. This routine was labor-intensive and costly and diverted the maintenance team away from other projects.

Accordingly, it was no surprise when the town initiated a project to renovate the lift station in 2011. First, a new control panel with SCADA capabilities was installed. The wet well was then lined, and new discharge piping and check-, isolation- and air-release valves were installed. The last element of the project was the installation of new submersible pumps.

For over 20 years, the town of Fishers has had a good rapport with American Pump Repair & Service, Inc. (APRS), a Crane Pumps & Systems Distributor from New Palestine, Ind. Previously, APRS had helped the municipality choose a Barnes Submersible Solids Handling pump for one of its other 22 lift stations. The installation was successful, prompting Rick Farnham, assistant director of the Town of Fishers Public Works Department, to turn to APRS and the Barnes SH series for the renovation of the Cedar Cove lift station.

Since the Barnes 4SHV pumps were installed in August 2012, they have been working flawlessly in the Cedar Cove lift station.
Since the Barnes 4SHV pumps were installed in August 2012, they have been working flawlessly in the Cedar Cove lift station.

Due to the consistent clogging that the original submersible pumps were experiencing, APRS suggested using two Barnes 4SHV vortex solids handling pumps built by Crane Pumps & Systems at its plant in Piqua, Ohio. This replacement included pumps specifically engineered to prevent against clogging occurrences and increase seal life - the perfect replacement for two pumps that were frequently failing.

The vortex impeller inside the Barnes pump is backed by extensive clog testing. It is uniquely designed to create a powerful circulation and whip the solids through the system. Further, Barnes SHV pumps are specifically designed for longer seal life. The mechanical seal is made of grit- resistant silicon carbide, and the heavy-duty, large- diameter shaft plays a key role in reducing the shaft deflection that reduces mechanical seal life.

The pumps also have the Plug-N-Play power plug that allows for easy pump removal without having to disconnect the cable at the control panel and pull it from the conduit. Given that it was costly and labor-intensive to send an electrician out to pull the pump, this feature provides significant advantages for the town of Fishers. Maintenance staff can quickly and efficiently remove the pump if needed without risking potential pinching and damaging of the cord.

Before the station was renovated, the old pumps were running 832 hours per year. Since the restoration, the Barnes pumps are currently running almost half the amount of time. Although these higher-horsepower pumps do consume 7 kwh/day more electricity ($1.20/day), the municipality has ultimately seen a significant overall cost savings with the reduction in service calls and maintenance costs. Likewise, the third pump that was often brought into service during repair is no longer needed and does not need to be maintained.

Since the Barnes 4SHV pumps were installed in August 2012, they have been working flawlessly in the Cedar Cove lift station. "We are very pleased with the performance of the SH pumps," said Farnham. "There have been no clogs or corrective maintenance during the first 18 months of operation."

Pleased with the success of the installation, the town of Fishers has initiated a proactive submersible pump replacement program with the CP&S product line throughout the municipality.

About the Author: Sarah Huber is the marketing assistant at Crane Pumps & Systems in Piqua, Ohio. She can be reached by email at shuber@cranepumps.com.

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