Village of Chicago Ridge, Ill. Adds New Lift Station Controls

Faced with a flooded below ground pump station, the village of Chicago Ridge, Ill. looked to Metropolitan Industries for an emergency solution.

Faced with a flooded below ground pump station, the village of Chicago Ridge, Ill. looked to Metropolitan Industries for an emergency solution.

 
Confined space entry presents significant hazards to municipalities working with below ground pump stations.

The flooding of below grade stations can lead to an emergency service call and cause catastrophic damage of system equipment, often costing owners greatly for expedited repair or even replacement.

More importantly, confined spaces present health threats to entrants. Atmospheric conditions such as lack of oxygen, dense gases and additional dangers force operators to follow stringent guidelines when entering confined spaces to ensure adverse health consequences are avoided.

At Metropolitan, we believe upgrading below ground pump stations with above grade solutions most effectively protects both the investment of systems and the lives of equipment operators.
While eliminating confined space entry entirely should be the end goal, our above grade solutions can significantly reduce the frequency workers must enter confined spaces. With a comprehensive submersible pump retrofit, the need to enter confined spaces can be completely eliminated.

An illustration of our ability to retrofit below ground pump stations can be demonstrated by the work done in the village of Chicago Ridge, Ill. Faced with severely damaged system equipment, including pumps and controls due to a below ground vault flood, the village turned to Metropolitan to provide a quick solution.

“During a heavy rain event, a sump pump situated in the pump station’s dry pit malfunctioned allowing sewage to flow from the wet well to the dry well, causing the dry well to flood,” said Metropolitan municipal salesperson Keith Girup. “Unfortunately, due to the dry well flooding, the customer’s investment, including pumps, controls and power distribution equipment, was completely submerged underwater and caused irreparable damage. An immediate emergency retrofit solution was required.”

In order to get the pump station up and running in an accelerated fashion, the village elected to bake dry the pump motors, which were eventually placed back into the below ground station. To reduce the occurrence of entering the below ground confined space and protect the investment of system controls, Metropolitan supplied the village with an above grade control traffic box.

Included with the traffic box package was Metropolitan’s new LMS II level management system. Completely off the shelf and designed to provide customers with vital SCADA features at a cost-effective price, the LMS II control package played a key role in supplying the village with a prompt solution.

Developed by Metropolitan’s research and development team, the LMS II is a menu-configurable, constant speed pump down level controller, allowing one to three pumps, single/dual level transducers, 0-20 mA flow meter input, and a completely redundant float backup controller. Seal fails and thermal inputs are available by default.

Metropolitan’s new LMS II level management system contains a standard program to cover nearly all lift station applications.

Metropolitan’s new LMS II level management system contains a standard program to cover nearly all lift station applications.

 
The LMS II can be accessed directly at a lift station on its easy-to-use color touch screen interface or controlled remotely via a laptop. With the inclusion of an internet connection or cell modem, and Metropolitan’s MetroMail™ alarm-dialing system, users can receive alarm notification via any SMS text or email compatible device.

“In developing the LMS II, our goal was to create a standard program with options that covered 90 percent of all lift station applications,” said Metropolitan research and development manager Wayne Barkley. “This program gives us a systematic solution to designing lift station controls, eliminating much of the excessive labor associated with the design, engineering and programming of controls. Right out of the box, this system can serve many stormwater and sanitary stations with one program.”

Girup said the LMS II can fit a variety of lift station uses and is especially advantageous for consumers who seek to one day implement a master SCADA or building automation system. The LMS II can also be used in commercial applications.

“Each LMS II unit can be defined as a distributed SCADA system, providing substantial benefits to owners who may have plans to one day build a centralized SCADA system with master computer,” said Girup. “The LMS II has the capability to communicate with owners via email and/or text message, and can also be viewed via the internet for current system information, as well as historical data trends. The LMS II allows for a phased distributed SCADA approach, which can ultimately be tied into a more sophisticated centralized SCADA system at a future date.”

Due to a below ground vault flood, the pump station’s vital equipment, including pumps and controls, sustained significant damage.

Due to a below ground vault flood, the pump station’s vital equipment, including pumps and controls, sustained significant damage.

 
In addition to the traffic box package, Metropolitan also included a flood switch for installation into the dry well to notify operators via their SCADA system in the event of another dry well flood. This allows for a rapid response in the effort to prevent further flooding of the pump station’s dry pit.

Girup said this project is likely to serve as phase one of an extensive retrofit of the entire pump station. Phase two would be the installation of submersible pumps into the existing wet well, which would allow for the complete elimination of the confined space.

“Metropolitan is typically able to provide customers with an à la carte solution,” said Girup. “When the resources to fund a complete retrofit upgrade of a pump station are not feasible, we have the ability to work with the customer’s budget to supply the equipment and services that are most practical for the owner and application at a given time.”

This, combined with our 24/7/365 emergency service assistance, led to the successful, expedited upgrade solution for the village of Chicago Ridge.

“This project is a perfect example of why municipalities should start budgeting to upgrade existing dry pit pump stations of this type,” said Girup. “Fortunately, we were able to respond to the customer very quickly. In the coming years, I anticipate that many municipalities will continue to call on Metropolitan for a phased retrofit upgrade solution to eliminate confined space, below ground pump stations in the effort to avoid emergency circumstances.”

For more information, please contact Keith Girup at 815-886-9200, ext. 264 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

Metropolitan tackles confined space dangers

Entering a confined space for system repair is a dangerous procedure, particularly due to accumulated gases that may be hazardous. At Metropolitan, we can provide solutions to decrease the frequency of entering a confined space.

 
Now more than ever, municipalities are addressing the dangers of below ground pump stations to protect both entrants into confined spaces and the investment of systems themselves. The United States Department of Labor requires a permit for those seeking to enter confined spaces for system repair, accompanied by rigorous guidelines those involved with the entry must follow.

Moreover, flooding of below ground pump systems can lead to catastrophic damage of the systems themselves, often costing municipalities a great deal for repair or even replacement, and can lead to an emergency service call.

Metropolitan Industries recently renovated three below ground pump stations, giving each customer the ability to interface with the controls without entering the confined space. Another advantage of “above grade controls” is the avoidance of control system damage caused by a vault flood. Potential future projects such as submersible pump retro-fit into the existing wet well would be the next appropriate step to completely eliminate confined space entry.

City of Calumet City, Ill.

The City of Calumet City, Ill. recently came to Metropolitan for an emergency rehabilitation project following the flooding of a below ground water pump station.

“Metropolitan suspects the reservoir fill valve stuck open causing an overflow condition, thus filling the below ground pump station with water,” said Metropolitan salesperson Keith Girup. “The existing booster station was constructed many years ago when below ground systems were common. Metropolitan was able to repair and replace equipment quickly, and in the process improve the operation and energy-efficiency of the station by implementing variable frequency drives for constant pressure control.”

Another new piece of equipment included in the upgrade was a low-flow shutdown bladder storage tank.

“The new bladder tank supports the water system leak loads during low flow periods of time,” Girup said.

The system was also integrated into a city-wide SCADA system for enhanced monitoring and alarm notification. A flood switch was added to the pump room to ensure notification is provided in the event of a flood since the pumps remain in the below ground vault and are subjected to the hazards associated with such a location.

The primary advantages of the system upgrades are the reduced frequency of entering a confined space and overall protection of the equipment.

South Palos Sanitary District

Metropolitan recently completed a similar project for the South Palos Sanitary District.

“In this project, the customer decided to keep their drywell pumps below ground, but implemented above grade controls into a new prefabricated concrete building with an exposed aggregate finish,” said Girup. “The prefabricated building contains the controls, generator and a temperature control device, essentially eliminating the need to enter below ground in order to interface with the controls.”

Girup said that because the customer has decided to keep the drywell pumps below ground, it will still be necessary to go below ground to maintain the pumps. However, the frequency of confined space entry has decreased dramatically with the implementation of above ground controls.

“Safety and common sense are the reasons for upgrading to above grade systems,” said Girup. “Going into a confined space requires special procedures with two individuals, safety harnesses and gas monitoring equipment at a minimum to ensure safety. If precautions are not followed, consequences could be fatal.”

Village of Burr Ridge, Ill.

The Village of Burr Ridge, Ill. also called upon Metropolitan for a below ground lift station upgrade.

Metropolitan implemented an above ground traffic box for this particular project, placing all controls and electrical distribution equipment above ground.

“The customer has intentions to replace the existing pumps with submersible pumps, however, this project was phase one, which included the above grade controls to significantly reduce the amount of times they would need to go below ground,” said Girup. “In the previous configuration, the customer was going down into the pit quite often to monitor controls, but with our upgrade, they no longer have to do so.”

Conclusion

With each upgrade, the customer not only gained capital investment protection by implementing above grade control systems to protect controls from potential below ground flooding, they also improved safety conditions by reducing the frequency of confined space entry.

Entering a confined space is a major process with strict guidelines which, if not followed, can produce fatal consequences. Metropolitan can provide both investment protection and overall safety with above ground system retro-fit solutions.

For more information, please contact Keith Girup at 800-323-1665, ext. 264 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

MetroMail™ monitoring system included in recent lift station retrofit

MetroMail™ is an economical option for customers seeking basic monitoring equipment.

Metropolitan Industries recently completed a stand-alone version of MetroMail™, the company’s very own alarm notification system. The company will receive alarm notification via text message and/ or email through the internet.

When implemented to monitor any pump or electrical system, MetroMail™ has the capability to send email alerts to notify users of equipment status or problems, and can assist customers in avoiding potential disaster when troubles arise.

“Users can configure MetroMail™ to send an email at an interval completely configurable by users out through the device’s Ethernet jack and through the Internet,” said Metropolitan Industries software engineer Joe Burza. “In other words, if you have your laptop on you or you’re carrying a device with email capability, you can receive a message that a problem with your pump has occurred instead of waiting for the water to back up and start flooding.”

MetroMail™ features eight optically isolated dry inputs accepting 10 to 30 volts of AC or DC power. The unit’s status light tells users whether the unit has power, is properly configured and is sending emails, whereas network lights indicate LAN activity and connectivity. Its onboard web server allows for the configuration of messages, addresses and other settings via any web browser.

A MetroMail™ unit was recently installed at a jail located in northwest Indiana. Metropolitan was contacted by Keough Mechanical for the project, who wished to upgrade the existing lift station due to clogged pumps reported by detention center officials.

The lift station in need of attention was responsible for all of the sanitary waste from the facility. Detained members knew of its function and would routinely disrupt the operation of the pump system by flushing items that would typically be disposed of in a garbage can.

After Metropolitan salesperson Keith Girup made a field visit with the owner and contractor to discuss the problem with the operators and evaluate the obstacles associated with the retrofit upgrade, it was determined that an impeller change would be the most suitable solution to significantly reduce and potentially eliminate the clogging issues.

While Metropolitan was helping solve the mechanical issues the facility faced, new controls with email notification were also proposed.

In order to provide this notification, Metropolitan included MetroMail™, which contacts personnel by email in the event of a lift station alarm condition. An operator interface with Internet connectivity via a cellular modem was also included.

These control features allow for quick response during an alarm condition with 24-hour supervisory ability.

MetroMail™ offers customers a cost-effective option for basic monitoring equipment when more expensive options are not practical. Its convenient size also gives customers the flexibility to monitor equipment when space is a concern.

For more information regarding MetroMail™, please contact Keith Girup at 800-323-1665, ext. 264 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

Local municipality completes major lift station renovation

With the help of Metropolitan Industries, the Village of Romeoville, Ill. implemented major upgrades to its O’Hara Woods lift station.

 
Metropolitan Industries has extensive experience in the implementation and upgrade of lift stations. For over 50 years, we have provided components and even complete prefabricated lift stations as single-source systems that include all equipment required for operation.

Services such as design assistance and a 24/7 service department help ensure systems are engineered to meet the owner’s specifications in a variety of sizes. For the complete system, a station can be combined with a “MetroFab” custom-designed, prefabricated housed system. Housed systems are factory pre-piped and wired, and are shipped fully assembled for easy installation. Like a prefabricated lift station, these systems can also be customized to meet any specifications you require.

A recent example of a customer’s desire for a significant upgrade to their existing facilities is the work completed at the Romeoville, Ill. O’Hara Woods lift station.

Working with an existing duplex sanitary lift station, the village decided to make many custom upgrades to the site.

“The existing 20-year-old duplex system was still functioning fine, but an upgrade was needed due to village growth and the planning for future development,” said Metropolitan salesperson Keith Girup. “To keep up with the demand, the station was upgraded to a triplex system by utilizing the existing duplex wet well and a parallel existing manhole for a simplex wet well to house the three new pumps. We also supplied three precast concrete enclosures which, when installed on the concrete pad, were made to look like one common building. The three separate rooms make up the building, and house the new lift station controls, standby generator and chemical dosing system all under a common 28-foot by 28-foot roof.”

The previous configuration did not feature enough pumping capacity to keep up with the station’s increased demand.

 
In total, the system now has three eight-inch submersible, non-clog, explosion-proof sewage pumps each with a capacity of 2,084 GPM at 99 feet of TDH. Each pump motor is rated at 125 HP, 1750 RPM, 60 Hz, 480 volt, three-phase.

Control system upgrades were made to replace obsolete equipment not capable of operating the new horsepower and new quantity of pumps. In addition, the prefabricated concrete buildings gave the customer a more secure and attractive solution. Metropolitan supplied the three prefabricated buildings and provided a simulated “Ashlar Stone” finish as an attractive exterior design. Inside walls are painted concrete and the owner chose an aesthetically pleasing metal roof to complete the buildings.

In addition to housing the new controls, another primary benefit of the lift station upgrade was the addition of new variable frequency drives.

“All pumps are variable speed meaning they will speed up or slow down to match the influent rate,” said Girup. “This type of application only uses electrical consumption as needed, thus saving energy.”

Another upgrade included in-place standby power.

“When power loss would occur in the previous configuration, the customer needed to mobilize personnel and a portable generator unit to support the remote lift station,” said Girup. “In the new configuration, the permanent standby 400 kW, diesel-fueled generator will support all three pumps during a power failure automatically.”

An additional advantage of including a permanent generator is phase protection. If any phase of power is dropped at any time, the generator’s automatic transfer switch will recognize the power failure and supply clean power from the generator to the pumps until the full power supply is regained. Because pump motors may burn up during dropped phases, or brown outs, the permanent generator provides further investment protection to the lift station.

In addition to the standby generator, a chemical dosing system was supplied to replace the existing system. The new chemical system provides accurate feeding of treatment chemicals via a dosing pump that paces the total sewage discharge flow rate and reduces the frequency of chemical replenishment by increasing the volume of the storage tank, thus reducing fees associated with chemical delivery. The implementation of a chemical tank was deemed necessary per customer specifications. The chemical is used for odor control and to start the biological process of the sewage, assisting in the treatment process.

Surveillance cameras and anti-graffiti coating were also part of the new control and SCADA system upgrades.

New equipment was needed to monitor flow and tie in the third pump. A polyurea-coated, prefabricated meter and valve vault with measurements of 16 feet in length and 8 feet in diameter was also included to connect the new simplex pump system with the existing duplex system and also includes flood-proof hatches. Flood-proof hatches were provided due to the fact the lift station is located directly next to a large pond. The hatch elevations now all exceed the 100-year flood event elevation, however, if the customer does encounter significant rainfall, the hatches are water tight and will not allow water into the wet well, valve vault or meter vault.

A number of accommodations were made for the customer while upgrades were taking place, the most important being the need to keep the station functioning during construction.

Among the many upgrades provided to the O’Hara Woods lift station was the addition of new controls.

 
“A great deal of planning was done ahead of time to make the field installation, start-up and integration into the SCADA system seamless,” said Girup. “All of the buildings were pre-wired and all controls were programmed before arrival on-site, making the transition as efficient as possible. The prefabricated components of the project allowed the contractor to save on bypass pumping due to the expedited nature of prefabricated system installation.”

An existing control enclosure also needed to be moved to a strategic location for installation to occur simultaneously with the existing lift station still in service. The existing control box was located close to where the prefabricated buildings would be installed. The contractor and supplier made sure the entire transplant of controls remained reliable and the customer did not miss a beat in regards to system operation, data acquisition and potential alarm notification.

“The prefabricated buildings were chosen for a variety of reasons, including cost and security,” said Girup. “Alternatives such as a large steel traffic box enclosure would have been nearly as costly, but would not have provided the same level of security that the buildings provide.”

The project reflects Metropolitan’s commitment and ability to meet the customer’s needs with ease of installation and peace of mind while making a smooth transition to an upgraded system.

A large upgrade project such as the Romeoville O’Hara Woods job is a large undertaking for all involved not only financially, but in regards to keeping the existing system in operation while upgrades are taking place. Metropolitan’s expertise, customer service and fabrication abilities helped to ensure the best possible transition from the old existing system to a first class facility.

The new improvements include a total of three sewage pumps, and provide housing along with surveillance cameras and anti-graffiti coating for further protection.

 
Project engineer, Jon Zabrocki, P.E., of Robinson Engineering, LTD praised Metropolitan’s ability to supply and support all of the equipment needed for this installation.

“When you’re dealing with a project as complex as this, it’s comforting to know you’re working with a single-source provider who is willing to take on the responsibility of supplying and supporting anything you might need throughout the job,” said Zabrocki. “The end result is that the new system has exceeded our expectations and it shows what can be done when owner, contractor, supplier and engineer are all on the same page.”

Village of Romeoville, Ill. wastewater superintendent Bob Stoppenbach credited the village’s confidence in all parties involved for establishing a strong level of comfort throughout the entire rehabilitation process.

“We’ve worked with Metropolitan on many projects and knew they were very capable of delivering the quality of upgrades that we required,” said Stoppenbach. “We were very pleased at the project’s conclusion and look forward to working with them again in the future.”

For more information, please contact Keith Girup at 800-323-1665 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

City of Rock Falls, Ill. Upgrades Lift Station Control Systems

Metropolitan Industries recently assisted in the upgrade of several existing lift station control systems for the City of Rock Falls, Ill. Metropolitan municipal salesperson Dan Howorth was on-hand to see the last of the six lift stations improved begin operation. Included within the systems are Multitrode level probes with new PLCs, including Trihedral’s VT SCADA software. This technology gives the city the ability to monitor each system on a station-by-station basis at a cost-efficient price.

Metropolitan was first contacted by the consulting engineering firm Willett Hofmann & Associates, Inc. of Dixon, Ill. for design assistance. For a relatively small city such as Rock Falls, the integration of this type of control system in its lift stations made ideal sense. For municipalities that generally do not utilize a full SCADA system, the panels Metropolitan provides can operate independently or as part of a complete SCADA system.

“Many small towns today may not have the economic resources for city-wide SCADA systems, but can afford this type of control system upgrade and gain the ability to access such locations through the internet via computer, smart phone or any device with e-mail capabilities,” said Howorth. “If you’ve got a small town has two lift stations or well sites and/or a very small plant, these are ideal because our control panels can be implemented at a modest cost when compared to complete SCADA systems.”

Another benefit of these systems is flexibility. Though the city of Rock Falls will begin operation of each station independent of any SCADA communication, these systems are SCADA compatible if customers wish to employ them into a more comprehensive SCADA system in the future. The city of Rock Falls has chosen to activate each unit using VT SCADA capabilities, but had previously developed a large wastewater plant and can now connect each lifting station to a city-wide SCADA system if they eventually choose to do so.

“Metropolitan excels at this type of ‘a la carte’ solution for SCADA integration,” said Howorth. “Our competition may only promote a complete SCADA system and focus on conducting a fully integrated (and often very expensive) system, as opposed to building a system ‘one block at a time’ or as budget and/or time allows. We offer our customers flexibility in these types of situations.”

For more information, please contact Dan Howorth at 815-886-9200, ext. 281 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

Metropolitan Supplies Equipment Upgrades to Lift Stations

At Metropolitan, we can supply all equipment needed to keep your pump station functioning as efficiently as possible.  Our adaptability and knowledge of new technologies give us the ability to supply the most cutting-edge equipment, which can extend the life of a system and save end users funds.

Metropolitan was recently chosen to supply all equipment associated with the upgrade of the existing stormwater and sanitary lift stations for the Joe Orr Road lift stations of Chicago Heights, IL.  The new lift stations include a number of up to date accessories and were housed in a large prefabricated concrete building.

The equipment supplied by Metropolitan was housed in a large prefabricated concrete building that included both a control room and a generator room.

Metropolitan’s Keith Girup said a number of factors contributed to the customer’s decision to make the upgrades.

“The project was done to replace an existing dry-pit type sanitary lift station that was over 30 years old,” said Girup.  “The design was chosen to eliminate the confined space environment as well as improve the operational efficiency, thus improving safety and reducing cost of daily operations.”

The stormwater lift station contains two Hydromatic model S4N300 submersible non-clog pumps, each with a capacity of 150 GPM at 20’ TDH.  Each motor is rated at 3 HP, 1750 RPM, 230 volts and 60 Hz.  One submersible level controller and five level switches to control on, off, override and alarm levels were also provided with the stormwater station.

The sanitary lift station contains two Hydromatic model S4MVX750 submersible non-clog vortex explosion pumps, each with a capacity of 375 GPM at 28.5’ TDH.  Each motor is rated at 7.5 HP, 1750 RPM, 230 volts, 60 Hz and are explosion proof at Class I, Division I, Group C and/or Group D locations.  One submersible level controller and five level switches to control on, off, override and alarm levels were also provided with the sanitary station.

The equipment supplied gave the customer the ability to operate both stations, creating a cost-effective solution for lift stations upgrades.

The prefabricated concrete building measures at 20’ L x 8’ W x 9’ H (outside dimensions).  The building is comprised of a 36” x 84” single door for the control room and a 72” x 84” double door for the generator room.  A Caterpillar 55 kW generator was also included.

Girup said the way in which the total system operates makes the application distinctive and efficient.

“This project is unique because the controls and generator are capable of operating the sanitary lift station as well as the nearby stormwater lift station,” said Girup. “By discussing the options and costs associated with also upgrading the stormwater lift station simultaneously with the sanitary lift station, the owner and engineer were able to make an educated decision to upgrade both lift stations and reap the benefits of twice the improved technology more cost effectively.”

Girup said Metropolitan’s involvement in the project can be attributed to a long standing relationship with the City of Chicago Heights, IL and project engineer.

“Metropolitan has been a trusted partner for the owner and engineer for many years and we were contacted at this projects’ inception,” said Girup. “We were instrumental in assisting with the design which included budget number preparation used for grant funding acquisition.”-

For more information please contact Keith Girup at 815-886-9200, ext. 264 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

Above Grade Solutions eliminate confined space procedures

By: Joseph Sanchez

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, many workplaces contain spaces considered “confined” because their configurations hinder the activities of employees who must enter, work in, and exit them. A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. Confined spaces include, but are not limited to underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, such as those used in wastewater pumping applications.

Custom Designed Pumping Controls By Metropolitan Industries, Inc

Custom Designed Pumping Controls By Metropolitan Industries, Inc

OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space,”  to describe a confined space that has one or more of the following characteristics: contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere; contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant; has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area which could trap or asphyxiate an entrant; or contains any other recognized safety or health hazard, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, or heat stress.

The greatest danger facing the person entering a confined space is a lack of oxygen. Several breaths of an atmosphere holding less than 6 percent oxygen can disable in seconds and can kill in minutes. Either the volume percent of oxygen can be too little (less than 19.5) or other gases (such as carbon monoxide) in the confined space may interfere with the body’s uptake of an otherwise sufficient supply. Oxygen deficiency can also debilitate sensors: Thus, a space with very low oxygen levels can’t be tested for combustible gases since standard instruments for this purpose require oxygen to function. (The sensor actually attempts to ignite a sample of the atmosphere and can’t do so when the fuel/oxygen ratio is too high.)

Not only is it dangerous to operate in a confined space, but it is also costly and time consuming for municipalities to maintain according to Metropolitan Industries Service Manager Mike Schiazzano. He says a permitted confined space needs a minimum three-man crew with the following safety gear; two multi function gas monitors, tripod with safety retrieval line, safety harness, a fresh air blower, a fresh air tank with airline, respirator and escape pack. Training the crew to use all safety gear along with the retrieval equipment procedures is also an added requirement. He adds by eliminating the need to enter or work in a confined space a municipality can save time and money.

Solutions to Confined Space Applications

Above-grade applications eliminate the danger, costs and manpower issues associated with confined space applications. Installations typically consist of a small control and generator building installed next to wells below grade containing pumps. The pumps are easily accessible and can be easily removed and installed without entering well using guide rails.

Above Grade Stations Eliminate Confined Space Entry.

Costs and labor to maintain such an installation are minimal. Given that it is above grade and anything below grade is accessible from above, typically one person can operate the entire station reducing operating costs. Also further reducing cost is the elimination of the equipment and safety apparatuses associated with confined space entry.

Metropolitan Industries, Inc. specializes in the design and manufacture of above grade, lift station/control packages and recently completed two such jobs in Merrillville, Ind. that eliminated previous confined space applications.

Broadfield Lift Station

Working with Robinson Engineering and Contractor Hasse Construction, Metropolitan Industries, Inc. supplied a triplex, component lift station complete with a prefabricated building that houses the controls, valves and generator.

The triplex concrete lift station uses three, 50 HP, rated for a total 1442 gallons per minute (GPM) at 89.2 feet of total dynamic head (TDH). One submersible level transducer and four level switches control on, off, override and alarm levels in side the basin. Access hatches, a pump removal lift out system and guide rails allow easy access to pumps for maintenance without having to enter the 32’ basin.

To eliminate confined space entry, all controls, valves and a back up generator were housed in a prefabricated building measuring 19’ 3’’ long by 13’ 6’’ wide by 11’ tall building. The building itself was divided into two sections, one side for the controls and valves and the other side dedicated to just the generator.

On the control/valve side of the building, a triplex control panel with programmable logic controller and touch screen operator interface controls the system. The discharge pipe and valve assembly are located above grade inside the building for easy access.
The generator side of the building houses a Caterpillar 125kW, 3-Phase natural gas generator complete with accessories. A 400 amp automatic transfer switch allows for transfer to the generator during power outages.

Other features of the building include an HVAC system for climate control, high water alarm with dialer and battery back up, lighting and smoke detectors.

John Wood School Lift Station

The John Wood School Lift Station is another example of an above-ground application that eliminates confined space applications. This application called for a duplex component lift station again with a prefabricated control, valve and generator building.      The duplex concrete lift station uses two 40HP submersible pumps, rated for a total 700 GPM at 113’ TDH. One submersible level transducer and four level switches control on, off, override and alarm levels in side the basin. Two lift-out hydraulic sealing flange assemblies allow pump removal for maintenance and repair without entering the sump.

Just as the last example, all controls, valves and a back up generator were housed in a prefabricated building but this one measured 18’ long by 13’ 6’’ wide by 9’ tall. The building as well was divided into two sections, one side for the variable speed controls and valves and the other side dedicated to just the natural gas Caterpillar generator inside.

Other feature of the building include an HVAC system for climate control, high water alarm with dialer and battery back up, lighting and smoke detectors.

Conclusion

Above grade applications eliminate the dangers and costs associated with confined space procedures. Towns and villages save money by eliminating the special safety gear and reducing the personnel required by OSHA on a service call. Municipalities will save time by eliminating the requirement of obtaining a “confined space permit” that designates what is to be done, when and by whom. No longer will the local fire and police departments need to be involved as sometimes the permits dictate. As demonstrated a “permitted confined space” requires special handling, equipment and a fair amount of extra time and work if all the rules are followed. Eliminate these hurdles with an above grade application.