November 29, 2012

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.

November 15, 2012

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.

September 7, 2012

Indiana high school makes significant upgrades to pump system

The new pump station was designed for ease of installation and a proficient transition from old system to new system.

 
When Arsenal Technical High School made the de­cision to upgrade an old submersible dry pit pump system, the Indianapolis, Ind.-based institution called upon Metropolitan Industries to renew its system through both effective and convenient means.

“Metropolitan built a triplex self-priming pump system that closed in a house and contained a gener­ator inside,” said national salesperson Tim Laskows­ki. “The packaged unit essentially sits on top of the existing wet well, which made the installation process very efficient.  All in all, the transition from the existing system to the new system was very convenient for the customer.”

Metropolitan removed the existing pumps that were no longer in function, left the wet well where waste collects, dropped the suction lines for the self-prim­ing pumps, and packaged it all up in one convenient unit.

The system, which is designed to collect sewage and transport it to the appropriate destination, start­ed out as a very small project that eventually turned large, incorporating a prefabricated steel building.

It total, Metropolitan supplied a complete station with pumps, motors, valves, fittings, wiring support bases and incidentals with the prefab­ricated steel building, which includes a simulated brick finish as an attractive design solution.  A total of three pumps, each with a TDH of 33 feet and a capacity of 500 GPM were supplied. An 80 kW generator was also included with the package.

Metropolitan manufactured the entire system on-site and shipped ready for installation.

 
One of the differences between this particular unit and alternative solutions for enclosed structures was the implementation of the imitation brick, which was chosen to match the surrounding campus of Arsenal Tech.

“The material we used was very thin, almost like sheets of plywood, and was routed to look like brick,” said Laskowski. “It provided a very nice design solution and complemented its surroundings very nicely.”

Laskowski said the construction of the program went smoothly and that the customer was ultimate­ly satisfied at the project’s conclusion.

“We actually had the engineers who specified the product at our facility in Romeoville, Ill.,” said Laskowski. “They were able to witness the construction process firsthand were very impressed by our work. We delivered and installed the new system without any problems.”

For more information please contact Tim Laskowski at 815-886-9200, ext. 255 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

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