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Colorado wastewater plant cuts maintenance costs with Abel pumps

The Las Vegas Street wastewater treatment plant in Colorado Springs, US, dates back to the early part of the 20th Century.

In the early 1980s, the city needed to expand the plant and investigated ways to transport primary sludge across town to its Hannah Ranch, now Clear Springs facility 18 miles away for further processing.

Brown & Caldwell, a US engineering solutions company, recommended and installed Abel’s hydraulic piston-diaphragm pumps for this service.

The Abel 404 series pumps can handle a total flow of 400gpm against 400psi service required for this duty.

At these flow and pressure ranges, Abel’s technology was the preferred choice and the pumps continue to deliver 30 years later.

Given this success and with an eye to reducing operating and maintenance cost, the city focused on other positive displacement pumps in their plant.

Rotary lobe, progressive cavity, and peristaltic pumps were being used to pump abrasive slurries.

However, these pump designs have close-tolerance clearances that promote and accelerate abrasive wear.

The plant replaced 20 rotary lobe pumps with ten Abel EM electric-diaphragm pumps on primary sludge service, resulting in improved maintenance and more efficient operation.

Subsequently two rotary lobe pumps used for dissolved air-flotation duty were replaced with large Abel EM pumps resulting again in improved maintenance characteristics.

Four more EM pumps were added for thickened sludge transfer, and additionally, the North Side WWTP in Colorado Springs built in the mid-1990s features some 13 EM pumps used on sludge transfer services.

The Clear Springs (Hannah Ranch) facility still receives the plant product from Abel piston-diaphragm pumps 18 miles away, but has added 11 large EM pumps to its process and plans to acquire four more presently.

Abel’s EM series pumps can be run dry indefinitely and there are no tight places that slurry encounters in its path through the pump.

This design makes the ABEL EM pumps less subject to abrasive wear than other similar positive displacement design.

Abel stocks repair parts, which consist of only diaphragms, check balls, and seats.