By SWPA Executive Director Adam Stolberg and Jeremy Drinkwine, SJE Inc.

For wastewater applications, setting safety standards and a maintenance schedule are key components to ensuring reliable operational efficiency in often unpredictable conditions. From determining who should be the stakeholders involved to establishing a checklist for routine inspections, there are some basics every pump owner should include. Below, SWPA Executive Director Adam Stolberg and Jeremy Drinkwine, business development manager for Primex Controls, a brand of SJE Inc., discuss the benefits of staying one step ahead of routine wear.

Remote monitoring options are more widespread than ever before. How does access to more data lead to longer pump life? 

Having the ability to view the system as a whole allows owners more insight. High amperage, high levels, and no pumping are just a few of the items that they can monitor. Being able to monitor what is happening in the wet well gives owners the ability to potentially diagnose issues before failures happen. Furthermore, by having the ability to track high usage to low usage, this also allows owners the ability to potentially schedule repairs or maintenance on non-peak days.

In addition to adhering to safety standards and following a maintenance schedule, what role can system redundancy play in maximizing performance and ROI on a wastewater system? 

System redundancy can limit the amount of potential down time a system has. From back-up controllers to back-up instrumentation, these all impact the amount of downtime a system can have. Some designs have additional pumps built into the system this allows for some systems to be without one pump. 

For those wastewater applications where running to failure is not an option, how can pump owners move from preventative to predictive models for maintenance? 

The use of PLCs and remote monitoring is becoming very popular. Even SCADA systems call apply here. Plus, the amount of information that can be monitored, whether it’s from a SCADA or remote monitoring, can provide predictive analytics. From viewing amperage to seal-fail alarms, these are all types of information that can now be shared on many different platforms. This also goes along with the traditional elapsed time and cycle counts per pump to help assist in routine maintenance. This will allow routine pump maintenance to prevent failures. By monitoring amperage, this allows the owner to see trends if low or high amperage is present. By having the ability to monitor seal fail, this also gives the owners a first look to repair issues before they become major failures.

What role can professional organizations like SWPA play in assisting pump owners in finding the right standards and schedule for them? 

SWPA has many professionals and companies as part of its membership. It has most of the major pump companies on its roster and control panel experts. SWPA members can answer almost all questions and provide guidance in most scenarios. You would just want to make sure SWPA suggestions are in line with what local authorities have in place when it comes to electrical standards.

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