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Grinding away wet wipes

The volume of non-degradable materials entering Australian sewer networks is increasing, causing blockages, sewer spills and damage to vital pumping infrastructure. The clean-up bills from these blockages are costly so commercial and residential property owners have begun investing in grinder pumps to reduce the risk.

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Down the drain

A lot of the problems created by non-degradable materials in sewage pipes can be attributed to wet wipes, which do not readily disintegrate when flushed down the toilet despite being advertised as ‘flushable’. Other objects such as rags, sanitary products, nappies and personal items are also to blame for blockages.

When these products enter the sewer system they can block pipes which can cause sewer spills and safety problems.

Sewer spills from overflows can cause environmental and aesthetic issues if they enter waterways. Overflow can also cause problems in residential areas with raw sewage able to enter people’s homes and businesses.

Furthermore, blockages pose a risk to maintenance technicians and sewer treatment plant operators who need to clear the blockages and filter screens.

A costly fix

In Australia, water utilities are spending over $15 million a year to remove wet wipes from sewage systems.

Wet wipes are also causing costly problems for property owners before even entering the sewer system by blocking household plumbing, causing overflow inside the building.

Liberty Pumps' Omnivore V-Slice cutter technology

Liberty Pumps’ Omnivore V-Slice cutter technology

Ripping wet wipes to shreds

One of the main areas where blockages from wet wipes are likely to occur is in small diameter reticulation pipes as they usually have low flow. Here, wipes are able to easily combine with tree roots and other minor obstructions within the pipes to cause blockages.

According to Jason Lynch, Director at FITT Resources, grinder pumps such as the Omnivore are a good option to meet the needs of commercial and residential sewage applications where pumps need to be able to handle difficult solids.

“Omnivore grinder pumps feature a superior cutting system for shearing solids such as wet wipes into smaller particles before it is passed to the discharge by the impeller under high pressure.

“The V-Slice cutter technology provides in excess of 300,000-370,000 cuts per minute, effectively shredding any solids into a fine slurry allowing it to be pumped through small diameter pipes and reducing the chance of blockages from occurring.

“It also features a unique open volute design which eliminates the cutwater, improving solids flow and reducing potential jamming of material in the volute.”

Omnivore grinder pumps can also be installed in applications requiring progressive cavity style pumps.

This means a number of maintenance issues have been eliminated, including dry starts, clogging and boot failure. The centrifugal impellers give the pumps greater flow control, enabling them to seek

Liberty Pump's Omnivore grinder pump

Liberty Pump’s Omnivore grinder pump

optimum flow without causing pipe or boot failure when multiple units are being used in the same sewer main.

Other features of Omnivore grinder pumps include:

  • Lower installation cost with smaller diameter pressure pipes
  • High-head capability which reduces the need for costly lift stations
  • Efficient pumping over a wide range of head applications – even negative head
  • Lower operating cost
  • Reduces maintenance and homeowner inconvenience
  • Designed for maximum heat dissipation and cool motor operating temperatures
  • Solid state starting circuit – no mechanical relay coil

Omnivore grinder pumps are ideal for individual or groups of homes, motels, schools, shopping centers, lakefront developments and systems requiring high pressure sewage pumping.

View the Omnivore grinder pump in action here or for more information contact the FITT Resources team.