April 26, 2024

Case Study: Grinding Technology Reduces Tough Solids

Jane Cooper

“In 2007, flushable wipes came on the market and these products did not degrade before they got to the sewer pumps. The wipes tended to bind and clump together, creating huge balls that became tangled in the pumping equipment. The situation worsened as the wipes became more and more popular.” – Bruce Walczyk, Pump Station Foreman Northline Lift Station, Laguna Woods, California

For years, three pumps installed at the Laguna Woods, California Northline Station easily handled the 2.5 MGD average flow and even an occasional el Niño deluge. Maintenance was limited to deragging typical solids from the pumps every 3 months. Then, in 2007, flushable wipes changed all that and presented a real problem. Says Bruce Walczyk, Pump Station Foreman, “eventually it was taking two men four hours each, three times a week to de-rag the clogged pumps. They’d often be out at midnight on Sunday fixing a jam.” A unit to pre-shred the debris before it reached the pumps was desperately needed.

Dale Gruel of Dudek Consulting engineers, Encinitas California recommended grinding technology to alleviate the problem. After evaluating several units, the pump station chose a Franklin Miller SUPER SHREDDER® SS1200 inline disintegrator. Franklin Miller was the one company that made a heavy duty grinder with a short lay-in length that would fit into the site. The disintegrator was installed at the suction side of the pump. The debris was sucked in, shredded and then easily passed through the treatment plant. This placement avoided the potential for clogs and blockages in the pumps further down the line. Mr. Walczk reports, “Since its installation, the Super Shredder has run flawlessly, saving us countless labor hours.”

The problem with wipes is not going away anytime soon. In fact, “flushable” wipes sales are predicted to increase by 6% a year for years to come and the problem is not only in the USA. In London, a lump was discovered that was actually the size of a city bus that consisted of a mixture of cooking grease and wipes. Fortunately, Franklin Miller heavy-duty grinders are playing a critical role in combating this problem in plants nationwide and internationally.

Says Franklin Miller President Bill Galanty, “every one of our grinders is certified to reduce tough mops and solids such as flushable wipe products. We’re proud that our grinding equipment is solving this difficult problem that many plant operators are facing nationwide.”

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