The Importance of Trash Rakes and Screening Water During Heavy Rainfal

Heavy rainfall events have been increasing steadily in recent years, and with this comes new challenges for our local water management systems. Heavy rainfall can bring significant amounts of debris, creating vulnerabilities for wastewater systems and potentially impacting water quality. 

As we’re seeing shifts in climate, particularly related to rainfall, it has become more important than ever to consider the importance of trash rakes and water screens for effectively managing intake water. 

How do Trash Rakes and Water Screens Work?

Torrential rains can bring all types of debris, sludge, septage, and scum into your system. Wastewater screening equipment is the very first line of defense against contamination from heavy rainwater runoff. 

Screens are made of heavy gauge stainless steel, with the newest models being capable of capturing, compacting, and washing the collected debris, reducing its overall volume by as much as 50%. This reduction in volume helps reduce the costs associated with waste disposal.

In addition to screening equipment, trash rakes are also designed to remove large debris from the water that comes with heavy rainfall. Debris like leaves, roots, branches, grass, and other types of non-biomass debris can cause blockages and obstruct the infrastructure of wastewater systems. 

Trash rakes do the heavy duty of removing these types of debris from bar screens, allowing smooth water flow through the treatment system. 

Trash rake and water screen systems suppliers design equipment for the specific needs of facilities such as:

  • Hydropower Plants
  • Wastewater Treatment Facilities
  • Petrochemical Plants 
  • Potable Water Treatment Facilities
  • Steel Mills
  • Fish Diversions 

4 Key Reasons Why Trash Rakes and Screening Water Matters

Flood Prevention

Heavy rain presents a scenario where significant debris can clog the basins of water collection facilities. This level of debris can disrupt the functionality of drainage systems, and increase the threat of devastating flood conditions. 

In urban areas, flash flooding puts human health at risk, along with causing costly property damage. For wastewater collection facilities, flooding due to backed-up debris can pose a threat to property and daily operations. 

Preservation of Sewage Systems and Infrastructure 

Trash rakes and water screens are essential for protecting the infrastructure of wastewater collection facilities and sewage systems. By collecting and removing debris before it has the opportunity to travel into the treatment flow, trash rakes protect infrastructure and significantly reduce the need for repairs and downtime. 

We already touched on flood prevention in general as a benefit of trash rakes, but it’s important to acknowledge the potential damage caused by even minimal flooding to water intake facilities. Without a trash rake and water screen system, solid material, debris, and other unwanted objects can make their way through, disrupting water flow and clogging equipment. 

Reduction in Maintenance Costs 

Having a water filtration system that includes both a water screen and trash rake is one of the most effective ways of reducing the overall maintenance costs associated with water intake facilities. 

A water screen is essential in protecting equipment from clogs and damage due to debris from heavy rainfall. Without a properly functioning water screen in place, each piece of equipment along the water flow path is at an increased risk of damage. 

Still, the large amounts of debris that accumulate against the screen need to be removed so that water can flow through the screen more efficiently. Without regularly removing debris, the effectiveness and durability of the water screen are compromised. This can translate to significant costs in upkeep, repairs, and replacements. 

Trash rakes remove the massive amounts of debris associated with heavy rainfall from the screens, allowing them to return to maximum efficiency. Each part of the trash rake/water screen system is a critical component in reducing maintenance and repair costs throughout the entire water collection facility. 

Environmental Protection

Water screens and trash rake systems work to protect the environment in a number of ways. As a first line of defense, thrash rakes sweep across the surface of rainwater, collecting refuse and debris to protect both the local ecosystem and the broader water management system from contamination. 

As waste is collected, it is either automatically or manually placed into a holding container, preventing it, and its byproducts, from being discharged back into the water system. This also helps to protect native wildlife by maintaining a proper ecosystem balance. As heavy rainfall lifts debris, and pollutants from the ground, the water screens and trash rakes work to permanently remove them, leading to a cleaner, healthier natural environment. 

What To Look for With a Trash Rake System

Efficiency: Efficiency matters when choosing a wastewater trash rake system. It should be well-engineered to perform seamlessly, even in harsh conditions, including the types of conditions seen with heavy rainfall. Hydraulic-driven equipment is the most efficient and will lower overall operating costs. 

Durability: Trash rakes and water screens are an investment and one that needs to stand up against the demands of harsh weather conditions without compromising structural integrity. Features like adjustable pressure and having all workable components above water for easy maintenance help to ensure the long life of the equipment. 

Strength: Debris and biomass associated with heavy rainfall can place significant stress on trash rake systems. For heavy rainfall areas, trash rakes must be capable of removing significant debris, including heavy branches, tree roots, large pieces of biomass, and non-biomass debris from areas that are prone to flooding. 

A focus on durable construction also means that trash rakes can continuously run, withstanding the constant torque and strain, of removing heavy debris mass during times of consistent rainfall. 

Design Flexibility: The trash rake system you choose should have the flexibility to fit within your current system, being easily retrofitted to existing structures. Whether building a new system or replacing one of its core components, this type of flexibility and ability to accommodate multiple configurations should be central to your purchasing decision. 

Choosing the Right Trash Rakes and Wastewater Screens 

Heavy rainfall conditions can happen anywhere, making it important to understand how your trash rake and water screen system stands up to the challenges. Areas that are prone to excessive rain are even more at risk of flooding, machine damage, and compromised environmental quality if the trash rake systems aren’t performing up to standards. 

Whether you’re building or upgrading a facility, choosing the right equipment with flexible design and construction is critical. A highly efficient, low-maintenance trash rake system improves overall production and reduces overhead maintenance costs for the long term. Reach out to our Lakeside Equipment Sales Team to learn more about our premium wastewater management systems today. 

Centrifugal Pumps: What They Are & How They Improve Your System

Wastewater treatment requires continual movement to oxygenate the wastewater and allow microorganisms to do their part. For this to happen, fluid movement is key, and centrifugal pumps play an important role.

Centrifugal force is defined as “force that is felt by an object moving in a curved path that acts outwardly away from the center of rotation.” With a centrifugal pump, that rotational force plays a key role in moving fluid materials from the impellers through the discharge chute. As it uses kinetic energy (pressure) to move liquids, it’s an efficient, cost-effective solution. 

These pumps are used in many industries including HVAC, refineries, water treatment, and wastewater treatment plants. They’re also found in chemical processing plants and hydroelectric plants. It’s in a wastewater treatment plant that these pumps can make a real difference.

The Structure of a Centrifugal Pump

A centrifugal pump uses a rotary motion to move fluids from an upstream pipe to the downstream pipe. It does this by using the force of the rotation to create pressure that draws the liquids by creating suction, around the impeller, and pressure draws it up and out of the other side. 

There are four types of centrifugal pumps, too. They are:

  • Axial-Flow – Impeller rotates parallel to the pump axis and is ideal for high flow rates.
  • Multi-Stage – Multiple impellers work other and are best for high water pressure.
  • Radial-Flow – Impeller rotates perpendicular to the pump axis and is best for high water pressure.
  • Single-Stage – Pumps only have one impeller and are best for low pressure.

No matter which pump it is, the main components don’t change.

  • The impeller
  • The shaft that attaches the impeller to the electric motor
  • The motor that drives the impeller
  • The casing that holds the impeller in place and provides the watertight path for liquids to follow
  • The upstream and downstream pipe flanges where water enters and exits

How Do Centrifugal Pumps Work?

With a centrifugal pump, the electric motor turns the impeller blades. As they start to turn, it creates suction that draws fluid into the pipe flange and casing. The impeller continues turning, which keeps drawing fluid in and that creates pressure. The pressure of the water pushes it through the casing to the downstream pipe. 

What Are the Benefits of Using Centrifugal Pumps?

Centrifugal pumps have a number of benefits. First is that they are efficient. They use the transfer of kinetic energy to move water, which is more efficient. If the centrifugal pump is equipped with automated speed controls, it can reduce power consumption by as much as half. It comes down to how much speed is reduced by. A 10% reduction can reduce power consumption by 27%, while a 20% reduction is about 50%.

Sometimes your fluids might be thicker than other times. If there’s a heavy storm and your sewer system is experiencing a surge in stormwater runoff, the liquids might be more fluid than when it’s simply hauled septage and sewer water. Centrifugal pumps are versatile and can manage changes in fluid viscosities.

Maintenance is easy as a centrifugal pump is only made up of a few components. It is important to keep the components lubricated to prevent overheating. The screens on the suction head must be kept clean to ensure the flow rates don’t decrease unexpectedly. 

These pumps are designed to last and have maintenance needs minimized. Features like corrosion-resistant stainless-steel designs and sealed bearings help, too.

Finally, there are different types of centrifugal pumps. This makes it easy to choose the right fit for your plant’s needs and budget.

Are There Any Disadvantages?

Disadvantages are minimal, but there are a couple of considerations. First is that they are prone to clogging. If you use them in a wastewater or water treatment plant, make sure you have screens and trash rakes to minimize any damage or flooding caused by a clog or jam.

Second, they benefit from a steady flow of liquids. If you have times when the incoming wastewater is lower, it can become a problem. Systems that are automated to stop pumps or slow their speed during slower periods are important. If flow is decreased and ignored, it could cause problems with cavitation. That occurs when vapor pressure drops and creates air bubbles that can damage the impeller.

Where and How to Use Centrifugal Pumps for Cleaner Water

How can a centrifugal pump help with a wastewater treatment plant’s process? If you think about the basics of wastewater treatment, there are lots of steps where pumps move the wastewater around. 

  • Screening: As wastewater enters the treatment plant and is screened to remove large items and trash, centrifugal pumps help move the water around.
  • Grit Removal: Once sand, gravel, and grit are removed, these pumps move wastewater to the next stage of treatment.
  • Sludge Movement: Thicker sludge has to be compressed to remove water for additional processing, and these pumps help with the movement.
  • Chemicals: If your plant uses chemical disinfectants, these pumps can help mix them into the wastewater.

They’re great for moving fluids efficiently from one area to the next. If you accept hauled waste from pumped septic systems, you’ll need a way to transfer the septage to the screens. Water needs to go from the screens into grit removers and aeration tanks.

In some of the processes that take place in your wastewater treatment plant, you might have some of the sludge dewatered, and the water that’s pressed from the sludge needs to be moved back into tanks for treatment. Pumps are essential for all of these steps.

Things to Consider

While centrifugal pumps have plenty of benefits, they’re not always the best choice. They don’t require a lot of space, which is a benefit, but they do need space to work properly. Your plant’s current design must accommodate the pumps you select.

This is why working with professionals in wastewater and water treatment equipment is important. You might also want to consider a screw pump to see if that’s the best fit. All of this is best done by talking to an expert who has the answers you need.

Share your treatment plant’s goals with Lakeside Equipment. Our expert engineers and sales team help you determine the best solution to your facility’s goals at a price that meets your budget.

Preventing & Addressing Runoff with Water Treatment Systems

Runoff is one of the leading problems with water pollution today. The EPA rates Vermont’s Lake Champlain as “Impaired,” and it isn’t the only lake dealing with detrimental blue-green algal blooms caused by pollution. A report from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) found that over half of the rivers, streams, and lakes failed EPA standards for safe drinking water, fishing waters, and waters to swim in.

This is alarming as in 2010, the EPA reported that “almost 20% of the 50,000 lakes” were impacted by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. Violations of nitrate limits in drinking water supplies doubled over a decade. This is alarming and runoff, one of the leading causes of pollution, must be addressed throughout the nation.

What are the most polluted lakes and rivers in the U.S.? We’ve compiled a list of 10 of some of the most polluted rivers and lakes in the nation.

  • Alkali Lake (an EPA Superfund site)
  • Calcasieu River
  • Lake Erie
  • Lake Michigan
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Mississippi River
  • Ohio River
  • San Jacinto River
  • Torch Lake (an EPA Superfund site)
  • Willamette River

Some of the pollution in these rivers and lakes come from industrial plants. Farm run-off is another problem as the fertilizers used on crops raise phosphorus levels. Cities with combined sewer and stormwater drains also threaten lakes and rivers. Runoff must be controlled as part of a nationwide measure to clean up our water.

Why Runoff Matters

Stormwater runoff is a leading problem with algal blooms, damage to the fish and aquatic life in lakes, streams, and rivers. It also creates toxins that take extra time to treat before water can leave a water treatment plant and go to the community water system.

When there’s a storm, water flows from streets and driveways into drains that in some areas go directly to the sewers. Along the way, the rainwater picks up road salt, automotive fluids, pesticides, and fertilizers applied to lawns and gardens. 

It doesn’t have to be runoff that goes into sewers either. Runoff can leave a farm’s fields and leach fertilizers and pesticides into area streams, rivers, and lakes. As phosphorus and other levels in lake and river water increase, fish and aquatic life are poisoned and die. Algal blooms increase and can be toxic to pets and animals that use the lake as a source of water or to cool off on a hot summer’s day.

How Can Cities and Towns Best Manage Runoff?

One of the leading ways to manage runoff is by embracing Low-Impact Development (LID) practices. This includes incorporating the following into new developments or renovations in older districts.

Rain gardens are one way to put rainwater to good use. Create a garden that’s a haven for native butterflies, honey bees, and birds to use for food and a natural habitat. The rainwater waters the garden. As the unneeded water filters through the soil, sand, and bedrock, which naturally filters it before it returns to underground water sources.

Rooftop gardens are becoming a common building amenity. The plants in the gardens soak up some of the water to help grow crops that can feed others in the community. In the process, some rainwater is kept from going to the storm drains. 

An example is in Manhattan over the Javits Centre. There’s a one-acre orchard, berry bushes, and vegetable gardens growing on top of the building. The produce from this green roof provides supplies for the building’s catering staff and the rest is donated to a local organization that provides groceries to those in need.

Sidewalks and driveways can be constructed with permeable pavers that allow rainwater through and into underground aquifers where water is prevented from overloading sewer systems. It’s possible to capture the water for reuse at home for chores like watering trees, flower beds, washing cars, etc.

Is your district one of the around 700 communities where the sewer system and storm runoff systems are combined? A heavy rainfall or snowmelt strains these stems and leads to raw wastewater getting released into lakes and rivers. Consider separating the systems to lower the risk of raw sewage ending up in local bodies of water.

People In Your District Need to Do Their Part

In addition to the steps cities and towns can make with their stormwater runoff and wastewater treatment plant measures, townspeople need to do their part. Educate the people in your district to ensure they know how their actions can negatively impact water quality. If you have to spend more time treating water to meet EPA requirements, it’s costing them more money.

Some of the most important things they can do is to:

  • Avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Keep up with car maintenance to avoid oil, gasoline, brake fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer liquid, and coolant leaks.
  • Use environmentally-friendly ice melt products in the winter or stick to sand or fireplace ashes.
  • Properly dispose of leftover paint, cleaning products, and chemicals.
  • Read labels and purchase eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • Close lids on trash and recycling barrels to keep trash from blowing down the street.

Filtration Options for Water Treatment

Even with the best measures, some runoff is going to get through. Sand filters are a good way to remove debris. If stormwater goes to your wastewater treatment facility, make sure you have screens and trash rakes that remove trash that gets caught up in the heavy rains. Plastic bags, sticks, wrappers, and straws can clog pumps and impellers and cause a lot of damage. Removing as much trash as possible is vital to your treatment plant.

When it comes to filtration, sand is the most common, but there are other options. Coconut fibers, activated charcoal, and semipermeable membranes are different choices.

Which Treatment Strategy Is Best?

There is no right way. You have to consider your district’s needs. How much space do you have available for rain gardens, green rooftops, or retention ponds? Is there more residential runoff than industrial or vice versa? What are the EPA guidelines you’re required to meet?

All of this has to be factored into the decisions you make for reducing runoff. If your district is a combined sy stem where you’re treating both sewer water and storm runoff, you need equipment that adjusts to increased flow rates. 

Working with a professional is key to getting an effective, on-budget runoff treatment plan that keeps contaminants out of your lakes and rivers. 

Lakeside Equipment can help you plan the best approach for runoff and water treatment solutions. Managing storm runoff is the first step and treating what comes into your wastewater treatment plant is secondary. Our water treatment experts help you plan sensible solutions that match your municipality’s budget.

Springtime Sustainability: Eco-Friendly Biological Treatment With Lakeside

The arrival of spring can pose more challenges to a wastewater treatment plant. Warmer temperatures encourage bacterial activity. Heavy spring rains increase sewer discharges, especially in districts with connected sewer systems and storm drains.

Combined sewer overflows are found in approximately 700 municipalities. While the U.S. is making strides in separating them, they’re still out there. When there are heavy rains, stormwater and sewer water combine and raise the risk of flooding if a plant isn’t equipped for the rapid increase in flow rates. These combined systems are found in the following states.

New Hampshire
New York
Rhode Island
South Dakota
West Virginia

Wastewater treatment uses a lot of energy, and the importance of cleaning the water of harmful contaminants and items like phosphates that encourage the growth of harmful algae is crucial. Plants have to balance getting the job done as efficiently and quickly as possible while also doing it in an eco-friendly way. Eco-friendly biological wastewater treatment is an effective, sustainable option.

The Basics of Conventional Wastewater Treatment

A conventional wastewater treatment process involves removing trash like plastic wrappers, bone fragments from animals that get into the sewer system, and solids like solidified fats, food particles, and human waste. Those need to be separated first. Once as many solids are removed as possible, chemical treatment is the go-to option.

Chemicals like chlorine (bleach) were used to kill germs. Sometimes, UV light was introduced as the chemicals had to dissipate before the wastewater was tested to ensure safe levels of things like E.coli, mercury, phosphates, etc. before the treated water goes to a lake, stream, or water treatment facility for processing into drinking water.

When chemicals are used, they need to be removed to safe levels. You can’t release highly chlorinated water into a lake as that chemical can kill fish and other aquatic life.

If water still has high phosphate levels, it acts as a rapid-grow fertilizer for algae that takes oxygen from other plants and animals, and some algae are dangerous to animals. Dogs that swim in water with blue-green algae blooms die from exposure to anatoxins found within them.

To ensure water is clean, continual testing is important. Still, the chemicals, treatments, and repeated processes use a lot of energy as water is aerated, pumped from one area to another, and filtered to remove solids.

The Benefits Gained by Embracing Biological Treatment

Biological wastewater treatment is a more popular option as it’s an eco-friendly, sustainable wastewater treatment process. It starts the same. A trash rake is used to remove plastic wrappers, bags, and other trash that can damage equipment like pumps and create clogs. Screens and trash rakes complete this process.

Once trash is removed, the wastewater goes into tanks where there are three stages of water treatment: primary, secondary, and tertiary. It involves these steps.

Activated Sludge: Aerobic microbes help break down organic materials. Pumps help circulate the water to create the oxygen the microbes need to do their work.
Anaerobic Digestion: Microbes no longer need oxygen and start producing methane and carbon dioxide as they complete their work.
Anoxic Growth: Microbes eventually turn to other items such as sulfates to grow.

Through these stages, there are different types of microorganisms used to break down organic materials in the wastewater. The goal is to ensure their health and ability to multiply. This keeps the system running smoothly, even if extra wastewater comes in during a spring flood.

In addition to the microbes, fixed-bed or moving-bed bioreactors contain porous biofilm that houses the microbes and can help with filtration when they’re used. A biological trickling filter is another option. Wastewater passes through the filter that’s often made of sand, ceramic, or even coconut fibers.

All of these components offer the major benefit of requiring less energy. They don’t use a lot of electricity, so you lower the plant’s carbon footprint and energy bills at the same time. When you have microbes producing biogas like methane, some systems capture that gas and convert it to useful fuel for the heating and cooling within the facility.

Sludge that’s removed can be composted or even dried and turned into fertilizer that can be used to help nourish plants and trees in forests and fields.

Lakeside Equipment’s biological treatment equipment includes the following options:

CLR Process – A closed loop reactor (CLR) is a tank that’s in a loop that allows for the constant circulation of wastewater. It’s effective in cold weather and is easily configured to meet different needs.
Magna Rotor Aerators – An effective way to mix solids and keep them from settling. The stainless steel blades help large numbers of microorganisms thrive, even if there’s a shock load, thanks to the ability to aerate and provide oxygen.
Sequencing Batch Reactors – This is a cost-effective option for biological treatments. It’s a single basin that uses timers to fill, mix, aerate, settle, decant, and remove sludge without creating a lot of foam. There are sequencing or continuous sequencing options.
Submersible Mixers and Recirculation Pumps – Mixers help stir up and aerate the water while recirculation pumps move the wastewater from one tank to another. Both are designed to last and work efficiently without a lot of energy consumption.

You can also get a Package Treatment Plant that reduces your footprint and requires less manpower. It includes a Closed Loop Reactor in the outer loop and a Spiro Clarifier in the center. It’s a great choice when you don’t have a lot of space and need a system that does the job well.

Where Is the Future of Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Heading?

There’s a water crisis in many communities. Even with unusually heavy rains and snowfall in areas that were running low, it’s only a temporary solution. The future of sustainable wastewater treatment will be in recycling water.

While people may be grossed out by the thoughts of the sewer water being cleaned of waste and bacteria, treated to ensure it’s safe for drinking and household use, and returned to public water systems, it’s important for sustainability.

Biological treatments that help treat wastewater and turn it into crystal clear, contaminant-free drinking water are essential in the evolving nation. Lakeside Equipment is excited to be at the heart of this future in wastewater treatment.

Lakeside Equipment has been helping people gain cleaner water for nearly 100 years. We’ve been there through many advancements and are excited for the future. Reach us online or by phone to learn more about steps you can take to establish eco-friendly biological wastewater technologies within your district.

Spring Cleaning for Waterways: Utilizing Lakeside’s Raptor Screening Systems

As snow melts, heavy spring rains hit, and winds pick up, a lot of trash and debris ends up in the nation’s waterways. In Oregon, the Willamette River’s trash has become a major concern. 

The organization Willamette Riverkeeper takes out as much as 432 yards of trash annually.  Efforts have been heightened to get the state and municipalities to create better programs making it easier for visitors, residents, and the area’s homeless to dispose of trash properly.

This isn’t the only place dealing with excessive amounts of trash. Volunteers in Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri recorded the amount of trash they were pulling from the Mississippi River. Of the items they logged, plastic accounted for 75% of the trash. The remaining percentages were:

  • Paper and wood – 9%
  • Metal – 7%
  • Glass – 5%
  • PPE/Masks – 2%

The most common items found in the river were:

  • Cigarette butts
  • Food wrappers
  • Beverage containers
  • Foam and Styrofoam fragments
  • Hard plastic pieces
  • Paper/cardboard
  • Plastic bags
  • Tin/aluminum cans
  • Plastic cups

Keeping these items out of the rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans is vital. It’s a key reason why municipalities need to look at the benefits of screening systems in waterways.

What Screens Do

Screens are used in water treatment, wastewater treatment, and hydropower plants. As wastewater or river/lake/ocean water enters a plant, it passes through screens that capture objects. Screens can capture dead animals, branches and logs, trash, leaves, and other larger particles.

If those items entered into the process of treating and cleaning water, it could lead to equipment damage, faster wear and tear on motors and pumps, and clogs. Plants pay less for repairs and replacement parts, which saves money over time.

There are different types of screens, but the process is always similar. They have mesh screens that capture items. Then, trash rakes or rake teeth pull them from the screen and move them to bins for composting or a landfill. 

Some facilities use incinerators, which use waste-to-energy to help generate power used by the plant. This makes it possible for the next stages of water treatment, such as sludge removal, to take place.

Explore the Different Types of Screens

What are the different options when it comes to screens? We recommend Raptor® equipment. These are the options to consider.

Raptor® Complete Plant

If you want a plant that can screen solids and waste materials and remove grit in one, the Raptor® Complete Plant is the system for you. Add a manual or automated grease trap, too. It handles flow rates of up to 4 million gallons per day.

The components are pre-assembled, which makes it easy to install the entire system and have it up and running in little time. It also costs less than a designed system as it’s pre-engineered.

Raptor® FalconRake® Bar Screen

This heavy-duty bar screen is ideal for high use with high removal loads in water treatment plants, septage pump systems, and combined sewer systems. The link system can lift half a ton without a problem. Rakes grab materials from the bottom of a channel and raise them upwards to the top where solids are removed into containers for further processing. 

The construction is corrosion-resistant, and there are no bearings, bushings, guides, or sprockets in the lower areas of the equipment, which ensures the drive system is fully above water. This makes maintenance simple. This design also helps prevent jams.

Raptor® Fine Screen

A Fine Screen system is ideal for removing troublesome solids like fats, oil, and grease. Varied screen bars sit in the bottom of a tank and have a rotating rake that continually cleans the cylindrical screens when the water level reaches a specific point.

Debris is disposed of in a bin after being compacted and dewatered thanks to the help of a screw conveyor. It’s possible to get a weather protection system that protects it from as cold as -13ºF. 

Raptor® Micro Strainer

The Micro Strainer is a good choice for small treatment facilities. A cylindrical basket fits in a lower chamber and spins while screening out solids and debris. Those solids move up a tube with the help of a screw conveyor. They’re compacted and dewatered before moving to a container for composting, trash, or incineration. 

There’s a single drive, which helps keep maintenance requirements to a minimum. The Micro Strainer is often used in submersible pump stations and manholes. It’s also a good choice for industrial plants that pre-treat wastewater before it moves on to the sewer system.

Raptor® Multi-Rake Bar Screen

This multi-rake bar screen is positioned within a tank with screen bars (think of ladder rungs) that go up from the floor to the top. They pick up solids as the screen bars rise, and those items are deposited out of the bar screen when it reaches the top of the tank with the help of rakes. Rakes scrape all items off the bar before that bar lowers back down.

A chain guide ensures constant motion at the desired speed. The entire multi-rake bar screen is corrosion-resistant due to the stainless-steel construction. If there’s a jam, the system automatically reverses to clear it. Rakes clean the bar screens as they go and can be replaced as needed. As an added benefit, it’s possible to get this system on a hinged system to make it easy to swing out of the channel when maintenance is necessary.

Raptor® Rotary Strainer Screen

With the Rotary Strainer Screen, water comes into the self-contained tank where a horizontal cylinder of heavy-duty wire awaits. The openings of that wire range from 0.01 to 0.1 inches and a spray bar and blade assembly with automatic cleaning. Water passes through the mesh and solids are captured on the wire mesh and are then cleared of solids.

The solids pass through a discharge chute into a bin for composting or whatever your plant does. Everything is above ground, which makes maintenance easy to manage. The rotary strainer screen is used in multiple settings, including pre-treatment measures in wineries and food processing plants and fine screening in wastewater treatment plants.

Raptor® Rotating Drum Screen

The removal of small particles is completed with ease with the Rotating Drum Screen. It’s very efficient and has a high removal rate, which meets the requirements of Membrane Biological Reactors. You can get a wedge wire basket or perforated plate with openings of 0.2 to 0.25 inches.

As the waste and materials are screened out, it’s dewatered and compacted, reducing volume by half. It reduces the waste’s weight by as much as 67%, so the cost of landfill disposal is less. It has a single drive and stainless steel construction for long life and minimal maintenance.

Raptor® Septage Acceptance Plant

If your plant accepts septage hauled in from residential homes and businesses, the Septage Acceptance Plant screens, dewaters, and compacts the solids. The septage is pumped out of trucks and into a system with cylindrical screen bars. Rakes scrape the bars to prevent clogs. 

It’s a stainless-steel design that resists corrosion, and it works faster so haulers can unload quickly. You can add a second inlet so that two trucks can unload at the same time.

Raptor® Septage Complete Plant

While there’s the Septage Acceptance Plant, there’s also the Raptor® Septage Complete Plant, which is automated and completes screening and grit removal at the same time. Everything is pre-assembled for fast, hassle-free installation.

Work With Lakeside Equipment

Lakeside Equipment is here to help you explore the best options for your water cleaning goals and budget. Whether you’re starting out or need to completely upgrade your older screens with more efficient options, we have the solution you need.

Understanding Food and Beverage Wastewater Solutions

Many companies in the food and beverage industry create massive amounts of wastewater each day. Take beer for example. A pint of beer is around 95% water, but far more water is used up making that pint of beer. It’s estimated that you need as much as seven gallons of water to make one gallon of beer. Of that, about 70% of that water is discharged as wastewater to city sewers.

Now, think about it this way. The entire U.S. beer industry sold just over 203 million barrels of beer during 2019 One barrel is about 31 gallons, so about 6.29 trillion gallons of beer were sold in 2019. That means more than 44 trillion gallons of water were used to make all of that beer and an estimated 30.8 trillion gallons became wastewater.

That’s just the beer industry. If you think about all of the other food and beverage industries that produce wastewater, it’s easy to see how problems arise. If you have a wastewater district that accepts wastewater from the area’s breweries, meat processing plants, dairy plants, wineries, etc. that’s a lot of liquid. Too much poses the risk of overwhelming a plant. If the wastewater is released before it’s treated, it can harm the area’s wildlife and increase pollutants in area water sources. This is why it’s so important for the food and beverage industry to carefully consider wastewater solutions.

What’s in Your Wastewater?

You need to consider what’s in the effluent you produce. Wastewater treatment plants must meet local, state, and/or federal guidelines on the contaminants in water that’s released. Bacteria like coliform must meet the maximum levels. Restrictions are also in place for things like biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, phosphorus, nitrogen, and total suspended solids.

Breweries often produce high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. That’s the first part of the problem. Grains and hops must be filtered to prevent them from clogging lines. Plus, the gritty grains can damage equipment. There’s also the sludge from the yeast. If you’re a contributor to the higher levels of suspended solids, bacteria, and nutrients, you may pay sizable fees to be connected to that wastewater district.

A plant that processes poultry, pork, or beef may contribute to higher coliform counts due to the animals’ intestinal tracts and feces that are removed and rinsed from the floors. Ammonia counts can be higher with larger animals that urinate on the floors. Fat from the animal and its blood also poses a problem.

Dairy plants that make cheese or yogurt have bacteria that are flushed away at the end of the production cycle. Like a meat processing plant, there are also fats and greases to consider.

How Can Companies Better Manage Their Wastewater?

If you look at the amount of water used by many companies in the food and beverage industry, it’s substantial. The amount of wastewater produced is also immense. It often becomes cost-effective for companies to recycle their water for reuse or start the cleaning process before the effluent goes to a local wastewater treatment plant. These companies have implemented wastewater solutions within their businesses.

Alchemist Brewery in Vermont

Take Alchemist Brewery in Vermont for instance. The popularity of Heady Topper and Focal Banger had people coming from around the world to try the beer. When the demand became too much at their second facility, they decided to open a visitor’s center in Stowe and open a cannery in Waterbury. The brewery has a lot of organic matter from the yeast, hops, grains, and malt sugars. They started sending them to Vermont Technical College’s anaerobic digesters to create energy and fertilizer for area farms.

At the same time, the visitor center had room for the brewery to put in its own water treatment system. The wastewater goes into a settling tank before going to the pumping tank. Solids go to an aerobic digester where as much as 6,500 gallons are treated each week. The water that’s sent back to the water district is already cleaned, which lessens the impact on the wastewater treatment plant.

Two Cheesemakers Install Their Own Wastewater Treatment Plants

Cheesemakers process a lot of cream and milk with cultures that turn it into curds and whey. Those curds become some of the cheeses people buy at specialty shops and grocery stores. Not only is water consumption high, but the whey and bacteria become a lot for a water treatment plant to process. Rothenbühler Cheese aimed to solve this by adding an on-site water treatment plant.

A few years ago, Rothenbühler Cheese hired a wastewater treatment expert to design and install an anaerobic wastewater treatment system containing pumps that send the wastewater to a digester tank. It continues to a membrane bioreactor. The biogas that’s produced during water treatment is captured and used in the plant’s dual-fuel boiler.

Montchevre is another cheesemaker that installed an anaerobic digestion system after weighing the pros and cons of anaerobic digestion and sequencing batch reactors (SBR). This system cleans the wastewater and produces electricity from the resulting biogas at the same time. While you might think the cost of installing such a system is expensive, they were able to use special funding programs from the government to afford the upgrades.

Sometimes Wastewater Districts Must Expand

Some wastewater districts expand their treatment plants instead. In North Carolina, production at the Tyson chicken processing plant steadily increased, but that also put the wastewater district at max capacity. Heavy rains were putting the plant at risk of releasing untreated effluent, which is not ideal. While the district has no restriction on the amount of wastewater that can be released into the area river, there are limits on the biological oxygen demand.

To resolve this problem, the town officials decided it’s time to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant to make sure that the equipment does an exceptional job of treating the water. With a plant expansion, the district cleans the water, releases it to the river, and doesn’t change the biological oxygen demand. Experts in wastewater treatment will help design the upgraded system.

If your town needs to look at increasing capacity, it’s important. Recover the cost by working with area food and beverage manufacturers to upgrade and enlarge your wastewater treatment plant.

What if You’re Short on Space?

A Package Extended Aeration Treatment Plant is a good solution for those in the food and beverage industry. It has a compact design, which is ideal for a company that doesn’t have a lot of space available.

What does this all-in-one water treatment system include? It’s designed to screen, aerate, clarify, disinfect, and contain sludge in one tank. This makes it very easy to install. You get a Closed Loop Reactor Process where the mixing and extended aeration take place in an outer loop before it goes to the inner Spiraflo Clarifier for the final settling process.

Is your water district looking for ways to be more cost-effective and efficient? Do you own a food or beverage company? If you think an on-site treatment plant could help your impact on your area wastewater treatment plant, see what it would take to build your own small plant. You may find you save money by reducing or stopping the fees you pay to be part of that district.

Lakeside Equipment’s specialists help design systems of all sizes. Let us know what your goals are and what budget you have. We’ll help you establish a wastewater treatment system that matches your needs.

Tips To Maximize Your RFP For Wastewater Treatment

Running a wastewater treatment plant requires a lot of thought when it comes to safe operations, fiscal responsibility, and keeping an eye on future needs. A wastewater treatment plant manager has to know how to maximize any request for proposal (RFP). Any company can ask for bids for upgrades and repairs, but an RFP often takes a lot of negotiation and tough choices to lead to exceptional results.

How do you maximize your RFP for wastewater treatment? The most important decision you’ll make cannot be rushed. You want to give possible contractors a clear picture. From there, you’ll need to take your time selecting the best team for the work. These steps can help you arrange the best contractor for your needs.

Lay Out Your Goals

Make sure you clearly lay out your reason for the project, the current set-up, and what the goals are. Give a description of your municipality including how many miles you serve, the population, and any budgetary information you can share. How is the wastewater treatment plant funded? Is it through property taxes, fees, grants, etc.?

Go over the budget for any improvements or repairs. The companies that you’ll work with do need to know if your financial goals are manageable. For that budget, what do you expect?

While you’re going through your goals, bring up the purpose for the RFP. Are you looking to be more efficient or increase the number of households you support? You want to choose a wastewater treatment contractor who meets local, state, and federal laws and regulations. Make sure you’re clear regarding how long you plan to work with this contractor. Will you be working with the contractor just for this project or are you also looking for someone to help with the repairs and maintenance over the decades?

As you discuss repairs and maintenance, you’ll want to cover other aspects of wastewater management like the management of construction workers and projects. You may want to work with a contractor who will arrange where the biosolids go when they’re removed during the wastewater treatment process. Will they be helping secure the chemicals and required testing?

Create a Complex Picture of Your Treatment Plant

When you’re writing out your RFP, present a full picture of your current plant’s design. You want to share the location, your acreage, the current layout, and the equipment you own. Talk about the plant’s capacity and average daily flow. Your plant should have a permit from the EPA, what is your NPDES permit number?

Once you go over what you currently have, discuss what the improvements need to include. If you’re often reaching your plant’s maximum daily flow, you’ll want to increase that. Where do you need the new plant capacity to be? Are you adding grit removal, improving your screens, or seeking energy-efficient changes? Do you want equipment that requires less routine maintenance?

When the water is treated, where does it go? Does it go into a local body of water or into water storage or reservoirs where it goes back to homes and businesses in that municipality? What types of pump stations are needed to get the water from these storage tanks or reservoirs back to homes and businesses? That’s another consideration that your RFP must mention. Give a list of locations and their flow rates.

Through each step of wastewater, including pump stations and reservoirs, is the city responsible for maintenance, or are you looking for a contractor to arrange the maintenance in these areas? Do you want the contractor to help find the right maintenance crew?

Be Clear About Contact Information

Provide updated contact information for possible contractors who have additional questions. Provide both phone and email and check messages at both. Some people may have more time to respond by email than phone or vice versa. If you’re amenable to both contact methods, you’ll get more responses. Give a deadline for questions so that you have time to answer them and schedule interviews and plant tours.

Take time to answer everyone. Even if the answer is “we’re going a different way,” it’s common courtesy to give a response. If you ever are in a position where you’ll need to work with a different contractor in the future, you haven’t upset anyone by ignoring their questions or proposal.

Don’t Forget the Equal Opportunity Requirements

It is your legal responsibility to make it clear that you will not be engaging in any discriminatory practices. When you select a contractor, you’re not basing your decision on gender identity, race, nationality, disability, religion, etc. You welcome everyone to apply, including veterans and aged workers.

Arrange a Tour Date and Timelines for Decisions

For contractors to come up with the right quote, they need time to tour the facility. Provide tours on a few dates so that every interested contractor can find a date that works with his or her schedule. Make sure you’re there for the tour and address any questions that arise during the tour.

About a month after the tours take place, set that as the date you require all proposals to be submitted. If you’ll be interviewing, follow the proposal deadline with the interviews. You want to narrow down your list of contractors shortly after the interviews.

Once you have selected your first choice, start the negotiation process. That will be the final step to awarding the contract to the winning company. In all, you want to do this at least six months before you want your project to start. That way, the contractor has time to schedule the project and get the equipment and supplies ordered in time.

Give Clear Instructions for Proposal Submissions

Give a step-by-step guide to how proposals need to be submitted and where they need to be delivered or mailed. If you want multiple hard copies and/or a PDF proposal, be clear about it. Give a date and time for those proposals to reach your office. Include the name, address, fax number, and email. Finish this up with a statement that you are not responsible for mail delays or lost emails and faxes if you even agree to receive the proposals electronically.

You want contractors to detail their qualifications, experience, cost proposal, and project details. Training and qualifications need to be given to every person who will be working on your wastewater treatment project.

Have a plan in place for any protests from contractors who are not awarded the contract or who become upset that they submitted a proposal that you never received. Give them a deadline to submit complaints and go over how to submit them.

Have a Back-Up Plan

What happens if you don’t like any of the proposals? Have a plan in place for this situation. If no one meets your needs, you’ll need to start the process over. While this isn’t ideal, you have to put the public and City budgets and needs first. If all proposals are too high or will take too long to complete, you may need to go back to the drawing board and see if there are ways to scale down your goals.

Be Open and Honest

As the public is usually the group paying for the cost of upgrades beyond any applicable grants, you need to be open and honest. Proposals have to be part of the public records for taxpayers to look at. Be clear about the scope of the project and why the improvements or project is needed.

If you take time with your RFP and are clear about the scope of the project, you’ll end up with great proposals. You don’t want to partner with a wastewater treatment contractor that leaves you and, therefore, your taxpayers hanging.

Lakeside Equipment has close to 100 years of experience in water treatment. We have a solid team of engineers who work with you during every step of your installation or improvements. We help you come up with a wastewater treatment design that matches your city’s needs and budgets. Give us a call to discuss your project.

Does Wastewater Go Into the Ocean?

Have you ever wondered how much wastewater ends up in the ocean? Concerns grew when Japan announced they wanted to release 1.25 million tons of wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. The country’s prime minister promised the wastewater would be treated, but there are still concerns about the impact on the aquatic life and fishing industry.

The Nature Conservancy released a shocking report in 2020 that alarmed some people. The environmental organization reported that the percentage of untreated wastewater released into oceans and seas worldwide was as high as 80%. In the Caribbean alone, it’s as high as 85%.

Is it concerning that this amount of untreated wastewater enters the oceans and seas around the world? Yes, but it’s also a good thing as it’s a correctable problem. It’s something that people can work on changing. The U.S. already has many measures in place to keep this from happening, but it’s not a perfect system in the U.S. either.

Cruise ships and other large vessels can dump raw sewage into the ocean or sea as long as the ship is more than three miles away from the coast. Some cruise lines have onboard wastewater treatment systems to help reduce pollution, but not all of them do.

There’s also the issue of microplastics making their way into the waterways from wastewater treatment plants. A British study found that high quantities of microplastics were found downstream of six wastewater treatment plants. Even though the wastewater had been treated, microplastics remained behind. Additives that can remove the microplastics affect fish, but the microplastics are equally harmful as they hold onto chemicals that harm fish. Plastic pollution in wastewater is one topic being focused on during Stockholm’s World Water Week in August.

Could steps be taken to ensure only clean water is released into our oceans, seas, and rivers that feed into saltwater? It’s possible, and the U.S. already takes some steps to make sure wastewater meets a rigid set of standards.

The Role of the Clean Water Act in the U.S.

Part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s job is to issue permits to wastewater districts around the country. Through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, municipal wastewater treatment plants apply for permits to operate. Once approved, the plant has strict guidelines to follow regarding the allowable levels of different contaminants found in the water. Failing to meet the guidelines can lead to hefty fines.

Before wastewater treatment plants can release treated wastewater, they must meet the standards outlined in the Clean Water Act and the permit granted to that community’s wastewater district. The EPA keeps a Priority Pollutant List that contains dozens of pollutants that plants must remove from wastewater before it’s released to a river, stream, pond, lake, ocean, or sea. On this list are things like arsenic, asbestos, benzene, copper, lead, etc. Bacteria and viruses also must be removed.

Additional steps must be taken before wastewater goes into saltwater. For example, alpha-Endosulfan must be less than 0.034 or 0.0087 micrograms per liter. Arsenic must be no more than 36 or 69 micrograms per liter. The chlorine used to kill bacteria must be lowered to 7.5 or 13 micrograms per liter of treated wastewater before it’s released. The Recommended Water Quality Criteria contains the rules to freshwater and wastewater that treatment plants must follow.

Leaks and Problems That Threaten Our Oceans

How often do wastewater treatment plants leak into the ocean? It occurs more often than you might think.

In April, experts found a leak at a wastewater reservoir in Tampa, Florida. Around 480 million gallons of wastewater had to be removed due to the threat of flooding after one leak in a containment wall was discovered. The Piney Point waste station had closed down 20 years earlier following a bankruptcy. Had the reservoir’s walls burst, it would have flooded the area and made its way to the ocean.

A Seattle wastewater treatment plant leaked raw sewage at the end of April. Days later, the same thing happened, making two sewage spills happen in Puget Sound. In the first spill, around 1,700 gallons of untreated wastewater went into Elliott Bay. The second spill leaked approximately 880,000 gallons. Both of these spills were caused when a backup power supply failed during routine testing and maintenance. This wasn’t the first time this plant has had issues. Another spill happened in January and involved 11 million gallons of untreated wastewater.

Quincy, Massachusetts, faced a lawsuit filed by the EPA after untreated sewage and wastewater leaked into Boston Harbor in 2019. As part of the settlement, the city agreed to invest over $100 million in upgrades and repairs of its wastewater treatment plant.

Another city slapped with a lawsuit was Sunnyvale, California. Lawyers for the city requested the charges be dismissed, but a federal court judge ruled against them. In the end, the city was fined $187,000 because close to 300,000 gallons of wastewater leaked into San Francisco Bay. The spill occurred due to antiquated piping that is more than 100 years old in some areas.

Back in 2020, Portland, Maine, also dealt with a spill during a power failure. The exact amount of untreated wastewater that went into Casco Bay is unknown as the computer system also went down in the power outage. It’s estimated that around 4 million gallons ended up in the ocean. That was the second leak in two years.

Two dozen New Jersey communities were given four extra months to develop better wastewater treatment plans to stop raw sewage spills during heavy rains. The communities’ wastewater treatment plants often end up spilling wastewater into the ocean during a storm, and the EPA demanded new Long Term Control Plans be filed. The pandemic led to a four-month delay, but those cities and towns had to have plans in place and came up with a plan that would cost around $3.5 billion in infrastructure improvements.

In many of these recent leaks, outdated piping and wastewater treatment plant equipment were to blame. It’s essential to check backup generators regularly and test equipment. If piping or equipment is getting old, it’s time to look into replacing systems. Repairs work for a time, but a complete replacement can help lower energy costs, saving money in the long run.

How Can Your Wastewater District Help Keep Untreated Wastewater Out of the Ocean?

If wastewater treatment plants located near oceans make sure their equipment meets the current demand, it lowers the risk of untreated wastewater reaching the saltwater. Have a qualified company look at your plant’s design and make sure your equipment can meet heavy loads.

Heavy loads include unexpected amounts of runoff during a storm. When families use more water in the morning before getting to work or return from work and have dishes to wash and laundry to run, it increases the amount of wastewater entering the sewer system. This puts a burden on the equipment if the system isn’t designed for a sudden rush of sewage.

Towns and cities continue to grow. If your wastewater treatment plant was designed decades ago, it might not be operating efficiently. A small investment in new pumps, automated screening, automated process controls, and upgraded grit collection makes a big difference.

Lakeside Equipment has experts ready to help you make sure your wastewater treatment plant is doing everything possible to meet and exceed the requirements needed to ensure you’re releasing clean water into the ocean. Give us a call to learn more.

Best Industrial Sewage Grinders

While sewer systems started centuries ago, sewage grinders are newer. They originated in the 1970s to help wastewater treatment plants handle the increase in sewage trucked in from homes and businesses that used septic systems due to the distance to the city sewers. By grinding the sewage pumped from septic tanks, it eliminated some of the clogs that could happen.

Industrial sewage grinders benefit many businesses and wastewater treatment plants. They’re used in apartment buildings, restaurants, food processing plants, and septage acceptance plants. Suppose you own a brewery with an independent water treatment system to ease the burden on the municipal treatment plant. An industrial sewage grinder can help break up any grains, hop flowers, and flavoring additives like cacao nibs or fruit that slip through screening steps.

Why should you take this step? It can keep your repair costs down by preventing problems before they occur. That’s one reason to look into this system. Or, if you’re plagued by blockages caused by organic and inorganic materials, it’s time to look at the benefits of a sewage grinder. How do you choose the right grinder pump for your needs? Start by understanding how a grinder works.

How Does a Sewage Grinder Work?

Have you ever used a garbage disposal system? If so, you’ll have an idea of what an industrial sewage grinder does. It grinds food particles in a residence before the wastewater continues its way to a sewer system. Some homes have garbage disposals on a septic system, but that’s not advised as the food particles can lead to issues in a septic tank and leach field.

While similar, a sewage grinder is designed for intense use. A sewage grinder pump has a plate at the bottom of the pump that grinds up materials before they’re pumped to a sewer head. The goal is to make sure any solids are small enough particles that they will not clog a line.

The sewage grinder sits in a large fiberglass basin. As wastewater comes in, solids sink to the bottom. When the unit turns on, the grinder’s blades spin and grind the items into small pieces that mix with the fluids to become a slurry. The pump pushes the slurry into the pipe and moves it towards the sewer pipes to continue the journey to the wastewater treatment plant.

An industrial sewage grinder is helpful in food processing plants, restaurants, breweries, and wineries. Before the wastewater heads to a sewer system, organics get ground up. Hop flowers, chicken feathers and skin, small bone fragments, and grape skins and stems are some of the items these grinders are equipped to handle.

You may want to look into one for your hotel or apartment complex. Some things that get flushed by residents can pose a serious issue in sewer lines and wastewater treatment plants. With a line to a sewer suddenly clogged, you have residents dealing with backed-up toilets and sinks. Affording the cleaning costs and damages gets expensive.

Flushable wipes and flushable cat litter aren’t as flushable as people might think. While you don’t want your residents flushing these items, you can’t always stop them. Fecal matter is another issue that can cause clogs in the pipes leaving the building’s basement. By installing a grinder pump, you can help the wastewater district avoid damage to equipment and clogs by grinding these items in a slurry before it travels to the sewers.

Choosing the Best Industrial Grinder Pumps for Your Needs

How do you choose an industrial grinder pump? Much of your decision is based on your industry and distance to a sewer line. The farther you are from the sewer, the stronger a pump you need.

#1 – What’s Your Company’s or District’s Goal?

What is the pump used for? Is it a residential complex or a food processing plant? That also makes a difference. A residential complex may not have loads of food scraps going down the drain all day, while an industrial plant may not have items like flushable wipes.

#2 – What is the Top Flow Rate?

One or more grinder pumps are in that basin where the wastewater collects. What happens next depends on the pump’s design. Some are operated manually, but others have floats that activate the pump. When the float reaches the top, the pump turns on, grinds the organic and inorganic materials, and pumps out all of those grounds and wastewater. Faster flow rates may require the pump to turn on more often. It would be best if you sized the pump to match the speed of the flow.

In some settings, you might find the wastewater flows more at certain hours. If this is the case, a pump that is manually operated may suit your needs. If you can’t predict when the pump will need to run, you need one that runs automatically when the float rises or at timed intervals. You need a pump that handles the max flow rate, not the average flow.

#3 – How Much of an Incline Does the Wastewater Experience?

What is your plant’s or building’s design? You need the pressure to get the wastewater up the slope if you’re downhill from the main sewer line. Do you have gravity helping the flow of sewage? You may need less horsepower if you’re downhill from the sewer as you have gravity helping. The grinder pump’s horsepower is essential if you deal with more lift to get the sewage uphill.

#4 – What Are the Local Codes?

Get to know the local codes to ensure your system is in compliance. This is why it’s often better to talk to an expert in sewer design. It saves you from expensive fines down the road.

#5 – Do You Have a Large Budget for Maintenance?

The lifespan of an industrial sewage grinder varies depending on the usage, whether the right grinder was installed, and flow rates. Maintenance helps extend the life, but there comes a time when you have to replace your grinder due to age or extensive maintenance.

What’s your operating budget? Do you have maintenance around regularly for routine maintenance? Do you use contractors? That can also make a difference. Most pumps are designed to be trouble-free, but things like sealed bearings that never need to be greased are worth looking at.

An industrial sewage grinder system is one of the greatest investments certain businesses and wastewater treatment plants can make. It comprises the grinder pump, a basin, the electricals, piping, and valves, making it something best left to a professional to install. You still should look at the goals of a sewage grinder and understand the options to understand better what type of pump is best for your needs.

Lakeside Equipment is happy to help you choose a suitable replacement for your industrial sewage grinder. Our engineers work with you to come up with the right system for your needs and budget. Give us a call to learn more about grinder pumps for your industrial needs.

Maximize Infrastructure Funding By Upgrading Your Wastewater District’s Efficiency

The 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the nation’s wastewater infrastructure a lousy grade. There are over 16,000 wastewater treatment facilities in the U.S. What’s alarming is that 80% of them are nearing capacity, and 15% are at or over capacity. In 2019, the gap between the money needed for repairs and upgrades versus what was spent was over $80 billion.

When cities and municipalities receive money for upgrades and maintenance, they must prioritize where to spend the money. It’s equally important to properly use the money from the home and business owners in your wastewater district. Before making any improvements, carefully plan how to best spend the money you’ve set aside. What equipment should you upgrade first to maximize your district’s infrastructure? What can you do to lower costs and improve efficiency?

Factor the Growth Within Your Community

Before making any changes, it’s time to sit down and look at the growth trends in your municipality. How much population growth has happened in the past year, five years, or ten years? How long with your current setup before you reach capacity? Are you already there?

If the city is growing faster than your facility can manage, it’s something that you must address with city developers and planners. Impact fees can help offset the burden of each new home on your community’s infrastructure. Make sure those fees bring in the money needed to grow your wastewater treatment plant at a rate that keeps up with the changes. If not, it’s important to speak up sooner rather than later.

You don’t want to run into issues where the wastewater coming in is too much and requires emergency measures. Often, untreated sewage gets released into a lake or river. The fines for this can be excessive, so you have to plan for growth carefully.

Fines aren’t the only issue. In October, a wastewater treatment plant in Maryland had diluted, untreated sewage release into St. George Creek, affecting an oyster farm. The farm’s owners had no idea this had happened and harvested thousands of oysters that refrigerated and shipped to festivals in Northern Virginia. Over two dozen people who ate those oysters became ill, so there is a risk of lawsuits related to food poisoning cases on top of fines.

Invest in Alternative Energy

It’s estimated that up to 10% of a municipality’s budget goes towards energy bills. Much of this comes from the energy needed to run a wastewater treatment plant. You have motors, pumps, computers, and other wastewater equipment running all day and night throughout the year. Electricity alone eats up as much as 40% of a wastewater treatment plant’s operating costs. Saving money isn’t as hard as you might think.

A Palmyra, Wisconsin, wastewater treatment facility upgraded its aerators, reducing energy consumption by 50% and lowering electricity bills by over $1,000 every month.

A Chapel Hill, North Carolina wastewater treatment plant upgraded the aeration system and mixers, saving almost $30,000 a month.

In 2010, Appleton, Wisconsin, added a biogas (methane) boiler to the facility. That change saved the plant more than $8,300 per month. After rebates, the plan spent just over $500,000 for the boiler. Within five years, it’s expected the savings will have offset the expenditure.

Those were minor, cost-effective upgrades that led to impressive savings. It gets even better.

A wastewater district in the Boston area saved around $1.5 million each year by undergoing an energy audit to find where to best make changes. They didn’t make these changes overnight.

Over a decade, the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District spent about $4.5 million making smaller changes like upgrading the aeration system and adding variable-speed pumping system drives. It replaced older lighting with energy-efficient fixtures, installed solar panels, and insulated the digesters.

California’s Moulton Niguel Water District, logical controllers and variable-frequency drives were installed to control pump speeds. The facility saved about $300,000 per year by upgrading to energy-efficient equipment. If you made similar changes at your plant, you could save thousands and offset the cost of the improvements in little time.

The methane produced during wastewater treatment can heat your plant. Upgrade your heating system to trap the methane and reuse it as your primary heating fuel. You don’t have to spend thousands on natural gas, wood, heating fuels, or electricity. Renewable energy is the responsible, cost-effective way to start heating your plant. It also reduces greenhouse gasses.

If you haven’t looked into solar or wind power, it’s time to consider it. You can add solar panels to roofs or empty land. There are solar systems that float on wastewater treatment ponds. If it’s windy in your area, tapping into the wind’s power also helps you generate the electricity needed to power your wastewater treatment facility.

Consider the Savings Gained With Newer Equipment

How much of your equipment is older? Before you consider the changes to make, you should inventory the equipment you have, its age, and how much of your time is spent maintaining it. If you have equipment that is being shut down for maintenance each day or several days per week, it’s time to look into replacing it.

Learn how the energy is used within your plant. Outdated equipment will use a lot of energy, so replacing them helps lower your costs. But, there are other aspects to consider. If a room is empty for hours, do the lights get turned off, or are they on anyway. Motion-activated lighting might be a worthwhile improvement. Are light fixtures older with fluorescent bulbs, or have you upgraded to cheaper LED fixtures?

Upgrading your equipment is an excellent way to reduce your energy consumption. Older pumps use a lot more energy than new pumps designed with energy efficiency in mind. Pumps constantly run as pumps move the wastewater up hills and from one station to another before moving it to the mainline to go into the wastewater treatment plant. The wastewater is pumped through screens and grit removers before going to clarifiers. Sludge and grit are pumped out to be composted, sent to the landfill, or to incinerators. These pumps are always running, and that drives up costs.

Fine bubble aeration is one of the many effective ways to lower costs. If you’re using older aeration systems, upgrading is a smart move. Adding systems that automate the process helps you save more money on electricity bills. Together, aeration and pumping make up an average of 70% of a plant’s energy usage.

Where do you start? The best improvements come down to your current plant design. Automated process controls are one of the first steps to take if you want to reduce energy consumption. If you haven’t automated your plant, it’s time. With a Sharp BNR process control system’s Programmable Logic Controller, water treatment processes are monitored 24/7, and aeration is increased and decreased as needed to maximize efficiency.

Lakeside Equipment’s experts can discuss your goals and help you choose the best areas to upgrade. You’ll gain efficiency while meeting the increasing demand in a growing community. Talk to us about your treatment goals to better understand where your current system isn’t doing as much as it should.