Sewer pumps blocked by pizza dough

Issue: 

High-level alarm was triggered due to two sewer pumps not moving effluent. 

 Cause:

The two pump impellers were worn down/eroded away, hence the inability to move the effluent, and the high-level alarm was triggered.

Actions taken by Ballantyne’s team:

  1. Attended site with pump technician (also a plumber), and suction truck with operator
  2. Removed the excess effluent and exposed the two pumps.
  3. Pulled up the pumps, cleaned them down, then removed the wet end (section that moves the effluent)
  4. Liaised with the Project Manager and client to determine the economic viability to repair versus replace. We used photos, experience, and known situational conditions and limits to determine the best steps forward.

In this situation, given:

  1. The client was heading on holiday in less than a week;
  2. The location needed to remain open and functional;
  3. The cost of spare parts versus complete replacement made replacement sense; and
  4. Supply timeframe of pumps versus spare parts and labour to complete
  5. The decision was made to replace pumps.

Pump 1 (2-yearold pump) wet end, portion that moves the effluent:

Pump 2 (approx. 5-year-old pump):

What a normal cast iron impeller looks like on a new pump:

End Result:

Fortunately, Ballantyne’s had the equipment (including a suction truck) and trained personnel to attend site and prevent an overflow of effluent

  • The wet ends were reassembled, and the semi-functional pump put on duty
  • The waste removed was pumped back in (to avoid dumping fees)
  • Two new pumps were supplied and installed within three days
  • The prevention of an environmental incident
  • The client went on holiday without a worry.

What can be learnt from this experience:

Regular servicing with time allowed for removal and inspection of a pump, by a trained technician, will limit the chance of failure of an essential service.

The Client is now aware of the impact of a high acid (sugar) based waste, and the cost thereof.

Using the right people, the do the job can save you lots of time and money, as well as provide piece of mind.

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