A pumping station in Rotterdam was repeatedly clogging due to wet wipes. The Municipality of Rotterdam decided to install the Flygt Concertor intelligent pumping system. The new pump not only eliminated clogging but paid for itself in just a few months.
Pumping sewage and rainwater to the treatment plant
The Municipality of Rotterdam manages a large number of sewage pumping stations. Each district has pumping stations that pump all of its sewage and a substantial portion of its rainwater to the treatment plant. In the Rotterdam-North district, water is transferred to the Statensingel pumping station.
This pumping station is responsible for preliminary transport to the treatment plant. To improve the discharge to the Statensingel pumping station, a decision was made a few years ago to install an extra pumping station in the Baljuwplein area. This pumping station transfers the sewage and rainwater from four streets directly to the main pumping station at Statensingel.
Wet wipes cause trouble at new pumping station
Problems arose immediately after the installation of the pumping station in Baljuwplein due to a large number of discarded wet wipes. A mechanic had to make regular visits to the pumping station to fix pump blockages.
“Daily visits were not unusual, and when it rained the mechanic might have to visit twice a day,” says Otto de Keizer, who works with management and implementation at the Municipality of Rotterdam. “It’s not always easy to clear the blockages, caused by wipes tangled up in the pumps.”
Ronald van Kampen, manager of the Rotterdam-North pumping stations, agrees that pump blockages caused by wet wipes were a major problem.
“The problem of wet wipes is not confined to Rotterdam, it is a national issue and results in the contamination of pumps and wells,” he says. “It may be more of a problem in some districts than others, but it is often impossible to track down the culprit.”
Finding the right pump for the job
In an attempt to rectify the problem, a different pump was installed in the Baljuwplein pumping station. The new pump seemed to be doing well at first, but problems arose after a few weeks. As a result of wet wipes, rapid pump wear occurred and the number of blockages increased significantly over a short period.
Otto and Ronald saw the new Flygt Concertor at an exhibition at a Xylem booth. A deal was struck, and Xylem’s pump was installed in the pumping station in Baljuwplein. The Flygt Concertor has been functioning without any problems since then.
Zero blockages and no wear to be seen
“The pump has now been running for three months without a mechanic having to visit the pumping station,” says Ronald. “The number of blockages has been reduced to zero! Of course, I had hoped that the installation of the Concertor would bring down the number of blockages, but the fact that there have been none at all has exceeded my expectations. It’s fantastic, and the pump has paid for itself in just a few months.”
Three months later, the pump was removed from the well to assess its wear. The pump was as good as new, with no wear to be seen. The impeller of the Flygt Concertor is made of “hard iron” – a hard material with a high level of wear resistance that gives impellers a service life up to three times longer than that of other impellers.
“This is definitely not the last we have heard of the Flygt Concertor in the Municipality of Rotterdam,” Ronald says. “There are several pumping stations in the municipality where the Flygt Concertor could bring great benefits.”