August 13, 2020

New FRP Lift Station Delivers on Promise of Sustainability

Fiber Reinforced Polymer Lift Station Installation in Munster, Indiana

Installation of prefabricated fiber reinforced polymer wet well structure in Munster, Ind. Equipped with internal stainless steel piping and pump removal components.

Efficient and reliable transportation infrastructure is more than about moving people, goods, and services from one point to another. Well-maintained roads and highways that are accessible and keep traffic moving create a healthy economy and help enhance the quality of life for citizens.

Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) recognized the need to make improvements to a section of their mandated roads in Munster, Ind. Long being subjected to significant delays when trains pass through, commuters were left in gridlock, and travelers wasted valuable time waiting for freight trains to pass through.

To circumvent train delays, INDOT came up with enhancement plans that included a tunnel which would allow traffic to travel underneath the railroad tracks.

However, there was one uncontrollable factor that had the potential to make the constructed tunnel completely ineffective, Indiana’s weather. With Indiana’s rainfall averaging higher than the nation’s average, and its wet season lasting almost five months, there needed to be a way of moving accumulated water caused by weather out of the tunnel.

Metropolitan Industries’ expertise was brought in to support the water movement and management needs. Working in tandem with the project engineer, Robinson Engineering, Metropolitan provided calculations, pump selection, electrical and controls design, standby power generator sizing, equipment specifications, and drawings.

Our solution included a variable speed system that would be able to handle anticipated rain events. Maximum rainfall events would require the system to run all pumps at an increased speed, while lesser rainfall events would decrease the system’s operation to one pump running at reduced speed. This variable speed capability allows for maximum efficiency of the system while also reducing wear and tear on the pumps and related system components.

Another consideration while proposing a solution to INDOT was their commitment to sustainable asset management. As part of INDOT’s strategic plan, INDOT was committed to enhancing infrastructure while allowing for better management of assets throughout their lifecycle. With that in mind, Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) was recommended for the wet well structure.

A highly durable material that could stand up to external factors such as extreme environmental conditions, FRP is praised for its cost-effectiveness compared to other materials usually used for these types of structures.

In the end, the triplex, variable speed, submersible stormwater pump system equipment provided by Metropolitan included:

  • Prefabricated FRP wet well structure measuring 12’ diameter x 39’ deep with all internal stainless steel piping and pump removal components, including hatches with safety grates, installed before delivery.
  • 12” submersible pumps capable of approximate 10,000 GPM with all three pumps operating simultaneously when needed at full speed.
  • Prefabricated control building measuring 8’ wide x 12’ long x 8’ inside height house all power distribution and control equipment including ultra-low harmonic variable frequency drives.
  • 150 kW natural gas fueled standby power generator with sound attenuated enclosure.
Manufacturing of Prefabricated Lift Station Control Station - Interior

Interior of the prefabricated lift station control building. Equipped with the LMS II controller.

Aligning with the other existing potable and stormwater pump stations within the town, the addition of the LMS II controller was a no brainer for the Town of Munster. Our cloud-based SCADA system provides access to system operations and alarm notifications from users’ mobile devices while also seamlessly generating the necessary reports needed for governing agencies.

The control system will utilize submersible transducer #1 as the primary level sensor, submersible transducer #2 as the back level sensor, and float switches as a tertiary means of level sensing redundancy.

The pump station start-up is anticipated to be performed in mid to late 2020 at which time Metropolitan service technicians will be on-site to verify that all Metropolitan provided equipment is functioning properly, that all personnel are trained on the systems, and everybody is satisfied with the system operations.

Metropolitan is proud to be able to offer our customers support with their project needs while also having the ability to take into account their project or organizational short-term and long-term goals.

We look forward to a successful conclusion that leaves the Town of Munster with a high-performance stormwater pump station they can depend on, in addition to knowing they can rely on Metropolitan’s promise of single-source responsibility for many years to come.

Manufacturing of Prefabricated Lift Station Control Station - Exterior

Exterior of the prefabricated lift station control building. Manufactured and configured on-site at Metropolitan Industries prior to delivery to its job site.

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