Unplanned downtime a thing of the past with Flygt Concertor

Xylem’s groundbreaking new Flygt Concertor™ technology is the world’s first wastewater pumping system featuring integrated intelligence. It was recently introduced in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, to provide an intelligent solution to the significant wastewater pumping challenges in the area.

The Suffolk County Department of Public Works Stony Brook Pump Station had been facing ongoing interruptions to pumping operations as a result of “ragging” – a common challenge in wastewater pumping where a build-up of fibrous materials leads to frequent pump blockages. Xylem proposed its new, groundbreaking technology – the Flygt Concertor pumping system, as a solution to the challenge, with very positive results: ragging has been significantly reduced, while clogging has been eliminated.

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Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, boasts 21 sewage treatment plants and sewer districts, some 70 pumping stations, and more than 1,250 miles of sewers. The plants range in size from 35,000 gallons per day up 30.5 million gallons per day.

Reliable solution

As Ron Warren, the now retired Director of Operations and Maintenance from the Stony Brook wastewater pumping station explains, “Unplanned downtime as a result of ragging was becoming a frequent and significant challenge for us. Clearing a pump is a costly, dirty, and unpleasant task that requires a maintenance team and often a crane. We were looking for a reliable, efficient solution that would eliminate this challenge and deliver cost savings.”

“We have enjoyed a longstanding, positive relationship with Xylem and so we were keen to try this new Flygt system, and assess its benefits,” Warren says.

This was not a pump problem; this was a problem with the flow. In August 2015, operators of the Stony Brook facility agreed to install and trial test a Concertor system, which is designed to ensure clean wet wells, clog-free operation, and drastically reduce unplanned vacuum cleaning call-outs. The benefits of the system were soon apparent.

Quick, easy installation

The pump station was a standard duplex station with two pumps installed. Suffolk County Department of Public Works employees were simply able to remove one pump from the station and install the new Concertor system in its place. A factory technician then installed the controller and input the settings. The entire process only took about an hour.

Operators closely monitored the pumping system, with positive results becoming evident within a month. With the old system, the pump had required regular lifting to remove fibrous materials caught in the impeller. Maintenance call-outs were as frequent as once every three months. Following the installation of the Flygt Concertor system, the reduction in maintenance costs was about $1,500 for personnel, in addition to $2,500 in equipment costs for the year, Warren estimates.

With the new wastewater pumping system, pump clogging has been completely eliminated and the rotation of the pump no longer needs to be to checked, saving time and money and offering new-found peace of mind. This intelligent system includes automatic pump-down of the well, reducing the need to clean the well of grease accumulations, as well as reduced level control rod failure.

Significant energy savings

The pumping system aims to deliver proven reliability at the lowest total cost of ownership. In achieving this, one of the benefits of the Flygt Concertor system includes a dramatic reduction in energy consumption – something that operators of the Stony Brook pumping station noted soon after the installation.

Warren explains, “For me, it is the ‘intelligence’ offered by the Concertor system that really sets the system apart. The patented Energy Minimizer Function ensures that all the pumps run at their most efficient duty points, taking this responsibility out of the hands of the operator. An IE4 high efficiency motor, self-cleaning Adaptive N-hydraulics, and constant power functionality complement the system’s other features to deliver optimum efficiency and, as a result, we saw a significant drop in our energy bill, somewhere in the area of 20 to 30 percent.”

Since there is no need for ventilation, cooling, or heating of cabinets with this system, customers benefit from substantial energy savings over the system’s total lifecycle. Meanwhile, operators can plan for a significant drop in their pump stock, reducing the variety of pumps needed to cover all applications.

“The Flygt Concertor pumping system has proven to be a great option for our facility,” says Warren. “Installation was fast and simple. The pump station has run for a year without any incidents of clogging, no wet well cleaning has been required, and we have realized significant energy savings.”

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