Cairns Regional Council improves redundancy of its wastewater system by partnering with Hydro Innovations
One of the constant challenges of maintaining wastewater systems in cyclone prone areas is ensuring that your equipment is always operational in the face of adverse conditions so that public health and environmental disasters are averted.
As part of this requirement, Grahame Dunstan, Co-ordinator for Wastewater Services for Cairns Regional Council (CRC), explored the options for emergency pumping during power outages at the White Rock #1 pump station. The solution had to help ensure that CRC’s wastewater services in the greater Cairns area remained operational and effective during tropical storms and in emergency situations.
‘During extreme weather conditions and in emergencies not all your equipment may perform the way you would expect, so it’s important to try to implement mechanisms that will help safeguard against poor performance and make a system as failsafe as possible,’ explained Grahame.
The council had numerous emergency generators to help maintain wastewater services in the event of loss of mains power. ‘Our generators are not always one hundred per cent reliable. We have had situations where an emergency generator has failed to kick in, so for us, generators can be a liability in an emergency,’ he said. Grahame undertook some research, comparing pumps in Australia, doing costs and benefits analysis before deciding on an emergency stand-by pump.
Already familiar with the Gorman-Rupp name he looked closely at the company’s emergency stand-by wastewater pumps and chose to partner with Hydro Innovations, Gorman Rupp’s authorised distributor in Australia. ‘We were already using other Gorman-Rupp equipment and their track record to date was excellent. Their products are very reliable and robust’.
Hydro Innovations installed a self-priming diesel centrifugal pump with auto-start (called a Gorman-Rupp V6-SCP). The above-ground self priming pump has a suction line that goes down into the wet well and a float switch that activates the auto-start. The unit only runs when required and remains silent at all other times.
The V6 provides superior solids-handling and increased pressure capabilities. It delivers higher pressures and flows than any other self-priming sewage pump on the market and is also the most efficient self priming pump in its class. As with other Gorman-Rupp sewage pumps, the V6 is fitted as standard with a unique and patented self-cleaning wear plate system that enables the pump to handle stringy materials and rags that would block other pumps.
Enclosed in a sound-attenuated metal canopy, the V6 encapsulates many complementary features such as:
- Low noise emitting
- Lockable doors prevent unauthorised tampering
- Fuel, engine or controls
Fuel capacity allows for a minimum 24 hours of continuous operation. According to Grahame the cost to purchase the V6 was comparable with the cost of buying another generator; inherently saving on installing a variable speed drives in the switchboard to make the generator operational.
Since having the stand-by pump installed in early 2010, Grahame and his team have seen the V6 self priming pump perform under emergency conditions. ‘During Cyclone Yasi, we had to make use of the pump and it performed outstandingly. It kicked in straight away and did what it was meant to effectively,’ said Grahame. ‘Each of our generators is eight times more expensive to run when compared to the V6 and the maintenance costs associated with the generators are far higher than those of the V6. The generators use up a lot of man power in maintenance in comparison to the V6.
‘Choosing to partner with Hydro Innovations was the right decision. They grasped what was required immediately, and have a very good understanding of their products. Their backup service has been excellent,’ said Grahame.
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