The Original Chopper Pump

Dec. 16, 2021

Vaughan Company started with one simple question, “What could make this better?” In the service bay of the gas station he owned in Elma, Wash., Jim Vaughan spent hours repairing manure pumps for local dairy farmers. He could see a pattern: the pumps were constantly breaking down due to clogs caused by animal waste. So, in 1960, Jim Vaughan invented the world’s first chopper pump.

The Chopper Pump met a genuine need that had applications far beyond dairy farms. The original patent for the Chopper Pump was applied for in 1960 and granted shortly thereafter. By 1961, Vaughan purchased its own manufacturing facility in Montesano, Wash. Since then, Vaughan Company has expanded operations greatly and now has 40 worldwide patents.

Now a third and fourth generation family-owned and operated company, Vaughan Company manufactures pumping and mixing equipment for a variety of applications, shipping worldwide. From 1960 to today, the company’s goal has been to produce reliable products that perform in the most demanding applications. And, as the years have passed, it has implemented new technologies to stay innovative.

Vaughan incorporates in-house 3D modeling, which allows the company to create precision castings for all its components. With Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the company analyzes flow patterns and velocities within its pumps, looking for ways to maximize performance. And its Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) automated machining ensures that every Vaughan replacement part fits precisely. WW

Since 1960, Vaughan Company has been a provider for chopper pumps, hydraulic mixing systems, screw centrifugal pumps, and one-on-one analysis and support. Learn more at

Published in WaterWorld magazine, December 2021.

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