Utility Maintenance: How debris gets into a facility

Ever wonder how debris gets into your facility?

The United States has between 700,000 and 800,000 miles of underground pipe that ranges from six inches to 240 inches in diameter. This aging infrastructure allows for debris to move through a waste collection system due to cracks and joints in the pipe.

Debris can be naturally occurring or litter. Natural occurring debris includes sand and grit; litter includes fats, oils and greases. Litter debris has been discarded into the wastewater by users of the system —commercial or residential.

Utility Maintenance How debris gets into a facilityDebris accumulates in structures throughout wastewater collection and treatment systems such as pipes, manholes, lift stations, wet wells, grit chambers, aeration basins, tanks, digesters and other requisite structures.

Sand and grit travel through the wastewater collection and treatment systems, ultimately ending up at the wastewater treatment plant. The material increases with aging infrastructure and can be exasperated by significant rainfall.

The accumulation of sand and grit in the aeration basin decreases capacity. This means the amount of oxygen is reduced and there is an increased use of energy and labor.

Utility Maintenance Matters

Debris issues are usually negotiated around until the adverse effects become critical. The longer the debris remains in the structure, the more challenging removal can be.

The overall risks to be considered include catastrophic, equipment and regulatory risks.

What Debris Does to Your Facility

What Debris Does to Your Facility

Debris gets into your facility through joints, seams, gaps and cracks that happen as the infrastructure (such as gravity systems and pipes) ages and shifts over time.

Let’s focus on the problematic effects debris can have on your infrastructure.

• It can wreak havoc on the treatment process.
• It can increase costs and reduce overall efficiencies throughout the system.
• It can cause abnormal wear and tear on system components — including pumps and other mechanical components.

What Debris Does to Your Facility

Generally speaking, debris can greatly impact efficiencies of mechanical and biological systems.

Mechanically speaking, it can affect operational aspects of the collection and treatment system, including full or partial plugging of outlets and pump suctions.

When accumulated sand and grit cover air bubble diffusers on the bottom of aeration basins, the consequence is a harsh increase in energy required to deliver the air to the wastewater for aeration. This increases energy costs.

The longer debris remains in the structure, the more challenging it can be.

USST: Safer, Quicker, Cheaper, Stronger

USST is removing sand and grit from a wastewater treatment plant in Orlando, FL.

USST is removing sand and grit from a wastewater treatment plant in Orlando, FL.

 

USST: Safer, Quicker, Cheaper, Stronger

This week, U.S. Submergent Technologies is performing sand and grit removal from a wastewater treatment plant in Orlando, FL, which requires confined space entry.

The USST crew is removing material from two clarifiers at the plant. Both are 120 feet in diameter and 16 feet deep. Approximately 120 tons of sand and grit has been removed from Clarifier 1.

“We performed a confined space entry, which includes constant air quality monitoring,” said Paul Del Favero. “Fall protection is being used as well while on the catwalk inside the tank.”

The crew began work on Clarifier 2 this week, running the Model 949 and Model 934 simultaneously during the project.

“We have been using our proprietary equipment for the cleaning of this tank,” Del Favero said. “It’s been a real team effort.

USST expects to complete the cleaning of clarifier 2 this week.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

USST crew members Aaron Hood, Matt Hughes and Paul Del Favero take an ice cream break

USST crew members Aaron Hood, Matt Hughes and Paul Del Favero take an ice cream break

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

It seems our three musketeers — Aaron Hood, Matt Hughes and Paul Del Favero — have a sweet tooth for double scoop waffle cones and ice cream sandwiches. (And we don’t blame them. In fact, they’re making us hungry!)

At U.S. Submergent Technologies, we’re proud to call this trio part of our USST crew and to know that even when they are off the job site and taking a break, they are still practicing safety by wearing their seat belts. Way to go guys!

IN THE USST LIMELIGHT: Randy Cordrey

IN THE USST LIMELIGHT: Randy Cordrey, U. S. Submergent Technologies

Say hello to Randy Cordrey, our business development manager. Our team had the pleasure of meeting Randy at the 2016 Florida Water Resources Conference. We liked him so much we asked him to join our sales team. Read on to find out what makes Randy tick.

In the USST Limelight Randy Cordrey U.S. Submergent Technologies

Randy Cordrey, US Submergent Technologies

Hometown: Washington DC

Family: My wife, Lucy, and my daughter, Jennifer.

Pets: A husky named Sierra.

Hobbies: Golf, basketball and outdoor sports.

Role model: Tiger Woods.

First job: Newspaper route at age 14.

Lesson from mom that I still live by: My mother always said to be nice to people.

Proudest accomplishment: When I was 11 years old, I pitched a perfect game — it felt awesome.

Favorite movie: Field of Dreams.

No. 1 place I’d like to visit: My wife tells me “You have to go to Paris.” It’s on my bucket list to take her.

The only person I’d want to be stranded with on a deserted island: My wife.

If someone handed me $1 million: I’d invest.

If I were a superhero, my special power would be: Professional golfer.

My motivation to work safe: My motivation is to see my family every night.

What I like best about USST: The people.

My best friend would describe me as: Hardworking, dedicated, integrity.

Song title that describes my life: “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire

One word that describes my dancing ability: Smooth.

U.S. Submergent Technologies Redefines Wastewater System Maintenance

U.S. Submergent Technologies Redefines Wastewater System Maintenance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

  

U.S. Submergent Technologies Redefines Wastewater System Maintenance

Orlando, FL, Feb 21, 2017 —U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) is officially the new name of the wastewater system maintenance innovator previously known as Polston Applied Technologies. The name change comes as part of an ongoing initiative by U.S. Submergent Technologies to redefine how the capacity of wet infrastructure is restored and to communicate better the company’s unique capability to provide waste removal from wet infrastructure (tanks and large-diameter pipes) without the need for bypass pumping. USST has successfully brought its disruptive technology to the wastewater collection and treatment industry.

The category of Submergent Cleaning is defined as the ability to remove sand, grit and residuals from wet environments, primarily tanks and pipes. U.S. Submergent Technologies stands as the only company offering this highly-effective technology for waste removal from wet infrastructure.

Company Founder and CEO Denver Stutler said, “At U.S. Submergent Technologies, we are dedicated to making a positive and meaningful difference, creating an awareness of what you don’t see and restoring the capacity of wet infrastructure safely and efficiently.”

Denver Stutler, an engineer and former principal at Camp Dresser and McKee, Inc., international environmental engineering firm, served as the Chief of Staff (2003 – 2005) to Governor Jeb Bush, and was appointed and confirmed by the Florida Senate as Secretary (2005 – 2007) of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Building on Stutler’s public and private sector expertise, U.S. Submergent Technologies has utilized its GritGone ProcessSM (formerly the Polston Process) to clean wastewater collection and treatment structures once clogged with sand, restoring their capacity. The proprietary capacity restoration services of U.S. Submergent Technologies help utilities extend the life of existing infrastructure, thereby saving utilities time and money.

The GritGone ProcessSM uses the exclusive Combination³® technology equipment of USST to produce successful results other technologies cannot match. The U.S. Submergent Technology Combination³® trucks function as a complete standalone cleaning system for large-diameter pipes, tanks and other hard-to-clean environments. Because the GritGone ProcessSM can take place in surcharged (wet) conditions, facilities remain in service during cleaning.

Although the company has changed its name, U.S. Submergent Technologies will continue to employ the same exceptional team and innovative processes that have enabled it to provide outstanding service to its clients. All company phone numbers remain the same, email addresses will reach corresponding staff members and the previous web address is seamlessly redirecting website users to www.ussubmergent.com.

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Dane Platko

dplatko@ussubmergent.com

844-765-7866

Safety Spotlight: Confined Spaces

Confined spaces can be deadly.

Each year, a number of people are killed or seriously injured in confined spaces. This happens in a wide range of industries and includes those working in confined spaces, and those who try to rescue them.

Our hearts go out to the three workers who died last weekend while working in a confined space in Key Largo, and volunteer firefighter, Leonardo Felipe Moreno, who is in critical condition after attempting to rescue one of the workers. 

A confined space can be any enclosed area where there is risk of death or serious injury from hazardous substances or dangerous conditions.

OSHA uses the term “permit-required confined space” to describe a confined space with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • has walls that converge inward or floors that slope downward and taper into a smaller area that could trap or asphyxiate an entrant
  • contains other recognized safety or health hazards, such as unguarded machinery, exposed live wires or heat stress

Dangers of confined spaces can include:

  • lack of oxygen
  • poisonous gases, fumes or vapors
  • liquids, solids or gases that can suddenly fill the space or release gases into it
  • fires and explosions from flammable vapors and excess oxygen
  • dust present in high concentrations
  • hot conditions leading to a dangerous increase in body temperature

Follow these rules to ensure your safety and the safety of others!

  1. Monitor the atmosphere
  2. Eliminate or control hazards
  3. Ventilate the space
  4. Use proper PPE
  5. Isolate the space
  6. Know the attendant’s role
  7. Be prepared for rescues with external equipment and a rescue crew
  8. Use good lighting and have backup lighting on-hand
  9. Plan for emergencies
  10. Keep communication constant

We Put The “P” In Power

Photo by Paul Del Favero

U.S. Submergent Technologies recently completed a job at a power plant in northeast FL. Paul Stephenson, Kyle Manchester, Michael Kisling, Marcus Purvis and Paul Del Favero of Florida Service Group removed approximately 160 yards of a fine-grained, powdery particulate material from a settling basin in submerged conditions. 

How To Tell If You Have a Sand & Grit Problem

Sand and grit is a common problem in most wastewater treatment facilities and often accumulates as a result of pipe infiltration/inflow. Since we cannot see the accumulated material without draining the tank, the problem often goes unnoticed. This can greatly increase energy costs while reducing the treatment efficiency of the wastewater system. The energy costs can be significantly increased when diffusers are partially or completely covered by sand.

How can you tell — without seeing the accumulation of sand and grit on the bottom — that it is causing problems in your wastewater treatment system? 

  • Flow increases significantly following rainfall events.
  • Higher energy costs — this is because the blowers or diffusers in your tanks need to run more to keep accumulated sand suspended so the bottom diffusers do not become covered and unusable, causing them to work overtime.
  • System test results for BOD, TSS and Nitrates will worsen due to decreased treatment volume, which can mean lower quality effluent. 

Removal of sand and grit is necessary for restoring capacity to wet infrastructures, improving treatment efficiency and reducing energy costs. 

The following graphic illustrates how sand and grit go unnoticed:

Happy New Year!

Here’s Looking at You, 2016

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday with your loved ones and all the best in 2017!