The West Side sewage pump station in Onondaga County, New York, is the second largest pump station in Onondaga County, taking in about 8 million gallons of sewage a day from communities in the western suburbs, then pumping it to a nearby wastewater treatment plant.
In 2018, the pump station prepared to undergo its first major expansion and upgrade in more than 30 years to add more sewer capacity to help reduce sewage overflows into Lake Onondaga during heavy rains. The project would also expand the pump station’s capacity and increase its efficiency.
The county’s Water Environment Protection Department hired local contractor C.O. Falter Construction to oversee the bypass project. The initial design sought to use the station’s existing pumps during the expansion and upgrades. But it was later determined that the pump station’s existing pumps would only bear 19 million gallons per day (MGD) of water.
After determining the original project design missed the target by 25 percent, it became apparent the job would require a temporary bypass system to move a peak flow of 30MGD.
C.O. Falter Construction engaged Xylem to design and install a temporary system to convey the full amount of flow within the same footprint as the original pumps. This helped avoid road closures and traffic delays.
To stay within the compact station area, Xylem recommended two Flygt N 3312 pumps that could plumb into the existing piping system, resulting in material costs savings.
Along with the two Flygt N 3312 pumps, the bypass system at the West Side pump station included three Godwin Dri-Prime CD300M pumps. Housed in a specially designed acoustically silenced enclosure to minimize noise pollution, the attenuated units reduced pump noise levels to 69 decibels at 30 ft, meeting OSHA noise exposure standards.
With the pump station located in a high visibility area in between Interstate 690 and Lake Onondaga and overlooking the New York State Fairgrounds, noisy diesel equipment would not have been appreciated.
One Godwin CD300M pump was set up on grade and away from the construction area, with the other two diesel-driven pumps serving as backups. Backup systems are essential in any bypass operation as they protect against instances of unexpected high flows or primary system failure during pipe rehabilitation.
The combination of diesel pumps and electric submersible pumps allowed the temporary bypass to operate at maximum efficiency, offering a flexible solution for fluctuating wastewater flow levels.
The diesel pump model used for this project also has the capacity to handle solids up to 3.7 in. in diameter, allowing a wide range of slurries and fibrous materials to easily pass through the pump’s impeller and resist clogging. This, along with the portability of the pump, makes it an excellent choice in challenging dewatering applications where sewage, sludge or a large volume of water needs to be removed or redirected.
The Godwin pumps were fitted with variable frequency drives (VFD), enabling operators to control the motor speed and reach the required duty point, ensuring optimum operating efficiency throughout the project. To save energy and diesel fuel costs, each pump activated only when increased flows called for additional pump activity.
Onondaga County also realized significant cost savings by renting the bypass equipment rather than purchasing it outright. Pump rental solutions offer the flexibility to handle complex and evolving applications without having to invest in expensive pumping equipment that isn’t required on an ongoing basis.
“A bypass of this size isn’t something you do every day,” the pump supplier representative said. “For larger projects, end users don’t have justification for the cost of the pumps.”
Along with providing pumping equipment without capital expenditure, the Water Environment Protection Department had access to engineers, product experts and service technicians to ensure operations continued uninterrupted.
To ensure the bypass ran smoothly for the duration of the project – even when staff was not on-site – a Godwin advanced remote monitoring and control panel was installed to continuously collect data from the VFD and transducer.
The bypass system went online in March 2018 and ran 24/7 through September 2018. It was set up to emulate the response and flows of the plant’s permanent equipment, and remote connectivity enabled the various parties involved in the project to continually monitor the pumps from anywhere via any smart device.
The remote monitoring capability was especially helpful when the project first got up and running and the water flow fluctuated widely due to the shift in student population with the end of the spring semester at nearby Syracuse University.
“That’s the beauty of remote monitoring,” the pump supplier representative said. “We can watch the equipment and do troubleshooting as needed without having to be on-site.”
The ability to set parameters and alarms for minor issues allowed C.O. Falter Construction to address potential problems before they caused a major shutdown, optimizing manpower throughout the project.
Dan Falter, project manager for C.O. Falter Construction, appreciated that everyone involved in the expansion and upgrade project had the ability to monitor the system in real time no matter where they were.
“If a pump went down, we were alerted even if we weren’t onsite,” said Falter. “The remote monitoring capability provides peace of mind, which is everything.”
Along with flexibility and convenience, the remote monitoring and controls capabilities also proved more cost-effective than traditional manned pump watch, representing a substantial savings of nearly $57,000.
As a result of aging infrastructure and increased system demand, sewage bypass projects have become a critical component of many community investment projects to maintain uninterrupted service during necessary maintenance and repairs. As more municipalities face costly sewer system repairs and rehabilitation projects, pump experts like Xylem that are experienced in the actual setup, installation and maintenance of bypass systems are best suited to supply the equipment and perform the work.
Darrin Ruiz is northeast regional applications engineer for Xylem and its Godwin and Flygt brand pumps