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Clogging Solution Is Crystal Clear in Crystal Lake

By Xylem 05:43AM November 05, 2018



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The Crystal Lake, IL, Wastewater Treatment Division is responsible for the operation and maintenance of two wastewater treatment facilities, in addition to 27 sanitary stations and three stormwater stations. Sanitary Lift Station 13 experienced occasional clogging problems for a few years. Obviously, the station had high visibility with Crystal Lake because of its operating issues. As a current highly satisfied owner of over 40 submersible pumps using both PLCs and SCADA, Crystal Lake turned to Xylem for a solution.

Crystal Lake had great faith in Xylem because the city had previously experienced problems with aftermarket parts, an issue the city sought to resolve by using only factory authorized O&M pumps and repair parts. Purchasing factory-authorized parts saves staff time and ensures that pumps will be repaired quickly. It also locks in prices, enhancing budget planning and reducing price hikes from year to year. So the city passed a resolution based on staff recommendations to use only Flygt pumps and repair parts for five years. The resolution passed by a simple majority, and the city was well on its way to solving its clogging problem.

Faced with the occasional blockage problems at Lift 13 Station due to flows containing flushable wipes and miscellaneous debris, the manufacturer recommended its new Xylem Concertor, a fully integrated system with high operational flexibility. Concertor combines a fully integrated control system with IE4 motor efficiency, state-of-the-art Adaptive N-hydraulics, and intelligent functionalities. By integrating a control system that can automatically adapt to the changing wastewater environment, an optimal level of performance is delivered, while significantly reducing total cost of ownership.

Concertor pump being lowered into Crystal Lake wetwell.

Adaptive N-hydraulics feature a patented axial movement of the impeller on the pump shaft. The impeller moves axially away from the insert ring when an extra heavy load of solids is encountered, allowing bulky rags and the toughest debris to pass through. After the debris is pumped out, the impeller automatically returns to its normal operating position. The axial movement of the impeller also reduces stress on the shaft, seals, and bearings, thereby extending pump life. Concertor’s N-hydraulics, along with clog detection and pump cleaning functions, ensure clog-free operation.

When the Concertor system was installed, the city would not allow modification to the existing control panel. The existing motor starter and pump protection had to remain in place in the event the old pump had to be reinstalled. Concertor does not require these items to operate, so slight modifications were required to make it work with the existing station controls. Regardless, installation was smooth and it took only a few hours to install the pump and control. No consulting engineering firm was used; the Flygt Engineering Group sized the new system based on information provided by Crystal Lake.

Since installation, inspections have revealed very little sediment and grit build up. Also, varying start levels have prevented grease ring build up in the station, a great benefit. Crystal Lake staff previously performed the onerous task of station clean out every three to four months. The new system did not require clean out for eight months. The city estimates that the cost of two workers, two hours of work, and the rental of a vacuum truck to be $800 to $1,000. You do the math. Finally, all clogging issues have been eliminated.

Crystal Lake was able to parlay a long-term solid relationship with Xylem into a clogging solution for one pump station, cost-saving standardization, and reduced inventory across its remaining pump stations, as well as significant energy savings.

Saving money and manpower is particularly relevant to Crystal Lake, which, like many local governments, has to perform their critical responsibilities with right sizing manpower. Highly satisfied with their experience, the city now stands to be a regular customer for the foreseeable future as it employs even more Concertor system technology.

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