Sep 06, 2018

Pumps Prevent Sewer Backups During Hurricane Harvey

Pumps Prevent Sewer Backups During Hurricane Harvey

The main lift station serving the wastewater treatment plant in Morgan’s Point, Texas, continually experienced problems with its three standard non-clog pumps. The pumps frequently clogged when rainfall totals reached or exceeded 2 in. Shop rags, pieces of lumber, plastic bottles, gloves and wet wipes all commonly clogged the pumps when the standard demand increased. Pump removal, unplugging and recurring repairs were required but the service company was not always available for immediate assistance, causing problems for residents served by this lift station.

From 2009 to 2016, Morgan’s Point spent approximately $100,000 to have the three pumps maintained and serviced. During that period, 24 service calls were required to remove, de-rag, reinstall and reset the pumps. In addition, the city rebuilt the pumps at least six times and had to purchase two replacement pumps.

Due to the excessive downtime and repairs to the standard non-clog pumps, Brian Schneider, city administrator for Morgan’s Point, contacted Newman Regency Group to find a solution. In May 2016, Vaughan Co. proposed a new SE-Series submersible chopper pump, as well as a complete guide rail system to solve the frequent pump clogging problem. The city of Morgan’s Point approved Vaughan’s proposal, and the system was on its way in an expedient 45 days.

After the Vaughan pumps were installed in late July 2016, the city experienced more than 100 in. of rainfall with no plugging incidents or other issues. In January 2017, the city inspected the pumps for wear.

“The pumps showed no signs of wear and were in like-new condition,” Schneider said.

During Hurricane Harvey, the wettest tropical storm on record in the U.S., more than 52 in. of rain fell in the Houston area. The pumps ran continuously for 72 hours with no plugging incidents and no problems, while pumping more than 2.5 million gal of unscreened sewage through the lift station. It never flooded, and none of the 150 homes served by this lift station experienced sewer backups.

“I just wish we had purchased these pumps years ago to eliminate the maintenance headaches we endured and the costs we incurred keeping our previous pumps in operation,” Schneider said. “The Vaughan pumps have been very reliable since installation.”

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