Articles & Case Studies

Diversion tactics

Posted: Monday 1st September 2008

When it comes to refurbishing a sewage treatment works, business as usual is not simply something to aim for; itís an absolute operational necessity.

Minworth STW, just outside Birmingham, is one of the largest sewage treatment works in the UK. Severn Trent is now three years in to a five-year, £125 million refurbishment project at Minworth that will see the water company replace life-expired assets and enhance the plant. Itís a massive undertaking and one that involves maintaining the viability of old equipment while replacements are being built, as well as decommissioning old treatment tanks and creating new, state-of-the art sewage treatment facilities.

Across the site, Severn Trent has a varied need for overpumping solutions to ensure effluent can still be moved from treatment tanks to the main pump house while work is carried out. To help Severn Trent manage its pumping requirements, pump specialist, Sykes Pumps, has supplied two hydraulic submersible pumps, two electric submersible pumps and four diesel pumps to site. The company is also project managing the pumping operation at the siteís primary settlement tanks with two specialist engineers permanently based on site. Here, a hydraulic submersible pump capable of pumping extremely thick effluent is being used to provide a temporary replacement for the process equipment while new primary settlement tanks are being built.

Meanwhile, the second hydraulic submersible is being used to empty the final settlement tanks so that these can be decommissioned and in the digesters, electric submersibles are being used to replace the tanksí mixers. Sykes Pumpsí equipment is also playing a vital role in delivering the refurbished aeration lanes where a diesel pump is being used to test that the equipment is working.

The pumping systems put in place during the refurbishment must not only be able to cope with the high solid content of the sludges that need to be moved around site, they must also be flexible enough to adapt to the changing requirements the projectís progress will create.

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