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Thames Water selects Vaughan chopper pumps for Banbury wastewater treatment facility

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Pumps of all shapes and sizes can be looked upon as the beating hearts of the UK wastewater treatment process, especially when recurring storm events lead to increased volumes of rag and debris entering the system.

This is when specific solids handling capabilities become ever more critical. So get the right pump in the right place at the right time and the expense and inconvenience of pump failures can be minimised. Vaughan chopper pumps offer uninterrupted pumping even in the most challenging, arduous conditions.

An ongoing example of reliable pumping performance with Vaughan is at Thames Water’s Banbury site. Although Vaughan was the immediate fix to the problem, as usual it was also the long run that was important to Thames Water.

In June 2006, a 10-inch Vaughan SP10R auto self-priming chopper pump was installed in the Return Activated Sludge (RAS) line at Banbury. It was the first of its kind to be used in the UK and was replacing one of four existing old style, extended shaft axial flow pumps.

In their prime, these pumps offered over 720m3/hr in a lift and transfer situation. However, when rag and solids content became more evident, failures were common due to continual blockages. The existing axial pumps were situated inside their own pipework, with the flow passing through the centre of the pump, then out through a reflux and onto the common line.

As a consequence, removing them for maintenance was difficult, especially when on some occasions they needed to be lifted twice a day.

The solution

As floor space in the pump house was restricted, a powerful but compact pump set was required. The SP10R with an over/under drive configuration and its suction line dropped approximately three metres down the existing axial flow discharge line, with no down well fittings, was installed in 2006.

It has been operating 24/7 for almost 13 years at the Banbury site, with no reported problems and no requirements to unblock or inspect the pump. Following this success, a second SP10R was installed.

Recently, both pumps underwent an overhaul as a result of general wear and tear. Thames Water’s engineering coordinator at the site commented: “The Vaughan pumps were removed one at a time by our sub-contractor and returned to P&M Pumps to have an overhaul carried out. The turnaround time for each pump from removal to re-install was approximately two weeks and this included the parts being sourced and shipped from Vaughan in the US.

“This was exceptional service and kept our temporary over pumping costs to a minimum. Both overhauled pumps have been running for over a month now and are pumping as they were when first installed from new.”

The original investment has returned yearly lifecycle costs for each pump of between £1,400 (€1,650) and £1,500 (€1,768) over the 13-year period.