As you may or may not be aware, Florida has funding available through a grant assistance program for qualifying utilities to remove sand and grit from their facilities. We’ve got answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Sand & Grit Grant Program below.
When did the program start?
The program began in 2014 and is administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) developed to assist wastewater treatment plants in the removal of sand and grit to increase capacity, reduce energy use, and improve effluent quality.
How do I qualify?
Your facility must be a public utility with
an average annual daily flow of 3MGD or under, and a portion of the plant must
remain online during removal.
What is the process?
A simple, 1-page information sheet must be
filled out; once it has been submitted to the FDEP, they begin to draft the
How much funding can I receive?
If eligible, your facility will be
reimbursed 50-100%. There is no limit to the amount of funding your facility can
receive through the grant program.
How many structures can I get funding for?
As many as needed that qualify. There is no limitation to the number of structures you can clean under the grant program as long as all qualifications are met.
How soon can I get reimbursed?
Typically within 30-days of invoice submittal to FDEP.
Have more questions? Reach out to one of our knowledgeable representatives to learn how this program can potentially benefit your facility by calling (941) 404-3405 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
300-FEET OF BLOCKAGES REMOVED INCLUDING WOOD, LAWN CHAIRS, YARD DEBRIS & MORE
After experiencing a series of overflows in a residential area, a West Florida city was looking to clean up a severely blocked stormwater box culvert. Due to a fluctuating tide schedule creating a surcharged environment, the stormwater structure was cleaned in both wet (high tide) and dry (low tide) conditions.
Paul Stephenson, one of USST’s experienced Foremen (read more about Paul here!), led the USST crew on the project, cleaning more than 300-feet.
“Having our Combination3® Truck allowed us to get everything done in one go,” said Paul. “We used a number of setups to remove material with one truck, including the vacuum, downhole pump and jetter, depending on whether the tide was in or out and the resulting conditions in the structure.”
The USST crew utilized the downhole pump and jetter when water was present in the structure to remove sand and grit and switched to vacuum to remove remaining material during dry conditions. In total, 12-yards were removed and disposed of at an offsite city facility. Lawn chairs, wood, and yard waste were some of the larger debris removed from the structure.
There was minimal intrusion into the
surrounding neighborhood during the project due to the closed loop cleaning
system of the Combination3® technology, which meant less odor and
noise for nearby residences.
“This was one of the more challenging
projects I have had the privilege of leading,” said Paul. “We were fortunate to
have the technology necessary to be able to react to situations as they arose
and accomplish this job efficiently.”
Reach out to one of our Project Advisors to learn more about USST’s specialties in removing material from hard-to-reach environments. Call (844) 765-7866 or email us at email@example.com.
MASSIVE BUILDUP OF RAGS, DEBRIS, AND EVEN METAL HANDRAILS FROM TWO STRUCTURES
Access issues had prevented two splitter box structures at a South Florida wastewater treatment facility from being thoroughly cleaned in years. A large amount of accumulated rag material had built up over time, and the structure was experiencing significantly reduced capacity.
The two structures in question consisted
of an Auxiliary Secondary Clarifier Distribution Chamber with dimensions
estimated at 30-feet by 45-feet as well as a Secondary Clarifier Distribution
Chamber measuring approximately 40-feet by 40-feet. These two structures function as splitter boxes
for a secondary clarifier at the facility and serve to split flow from the
clarifiers to oxidation tanks.
“A drain down was necessary to evaluate and perform maintenance on the structures,” said Michael Kisling, USST Foreman on the project, “but once the water level was lowered, it was clear that the estimated 6-to-8 feet of rag and debris material was going to be difficult to remove.”
The top level of the structures had been cleaned over the years, but rag material had built up due to the depth and position of the debris. The USST crew developed a crane attachment to be used with the Combination3® Truck’s extendable boom to reach and remove the difficult material. Without the innovation of the crew and technology, the quantities of material would not have been possible to access. 60-yards of rag material in total was removed from the site, including other debris such as pipes and even a full-sized metal handrail.
“It was a surprise every time we pulled
the crane out of the structures,” said Michael. “We never knew what we were
going to find next! I’m proud of the way
our crew handled the tough project and the creative way our crew solved the
If you find yourself with an issue that seems unsolvable, give us a call, we love a challenge! Contact us by calling (844) 765-7866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have or share a comment below.
SCROLL DOWN TO LEAVE A POSITIVE MESSAGE OR WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR FELLOW INDUSTRY FRIENDS
As we navigate this unprecedented situation together, we want to recognize the essential work being done by our customers, suppliers, business partners, and so many others working to keep vital infrastructure flowing. The work you’re performing in the wastewater and water sectors is critical to maintaining quality of life for our communities throughout this pandemic and beyond.
While social distancing has required temporary measures to limit physical interactions, it doesn’t change the passion and respect we share for the work we do as industry friends.
Join us in cheering on our fellow wastewater and water co-workers.
Leave a positive message, a note of encouragement, recognize anyone you know who has gone above and beyond, or simply drop a line letting us know how you’re coping in the comments below. We’ll share the shout outs on social and in our next newsletter.
We are committed to staying positive, as well as practicing the highest health and safety standards throughout these circumstances, and we’d genuinely like to hear how you’re doing.
From all of us at USST, we appreciate your role more than ever, respect the critical work you are performing, and are happy to contribute wherever most helpful.
PREVIOUSLY UNREACHABLE MATERIAL REMOVED FROM PUMP STATION
Sand, grit, and other wastewater residuals had accumulated over time in a West Florida lift station, reducing its overall capacity. As part of a larger rehabilitation and improvement plan, the City of Tampa’s San Carlos Pump Station required cleaning and had a buildup of material deep in the wet well that needed to be removed. Due to the challenging depth of the material, previous companies had been unable to reach the material with conventional vacuums and equipment.
A buildup of
material in a wet well such as this has the potential to cause several issues,
including increased pump run times and wear and tear on equipment. A drain-down and confined space entry was
necessary in order to efficiently access the wet well.
Truck’s powerful vacuum was used to remove sand, grit, sludge, and rags at approximately
37-feet depth from the bottom of the wet well to slab/grade elevation, without any
issues. USST’s vacuum is powered by a
blower capable of delivering nearly double the CFM of a standard vacuum truck,
allowing the crew to remove large amounts of wastewater residuals and complete
the job quickly and on schedule. In
total, 12-cubic yards were removed from the structure, ready for offsite
USST’s Combination3® Trucks are
more than just a simple vac truck. Equipped
with powerful vacuum, downhole pump, jetter, and extended-reach boom, they have
the ability to clean in wet or dry conditions in up to eight different setups
without bringing multiple pieces of equipment to the jobsite.
“Lift stations in particular are one of the structures we can clean very efficiently in a variety of ways,” said Denver Stutler, USST CEO. “We can remove material quickly and safely at an increased rate in almost any situation.”
Have a lift station that needs attention? The Combination3® Truck makes restoring lift station capacity easier than you think. Call one of our knowledgeable representatives for a free quote or to ask any questions you may have at (844) 765-7866 or email email@example.com and check out our video to learn more about the Combination3® technology
U.S. Submergent Technologies cleans sand, grit, and other debris out of wet environments. We’re well known for our success in wastewater treatment facilities, but our Combination3® technology gives us the ability to clean the hard-to-reach places in a variety of submerged conditions.
Our innovative jetter and combined vacuum and downhole system enables the rapid removal of accumulated solids from wet infrastructure while it remains in operation. U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) is able to restore capacity in numerous industries and other systems that can benefit from being cleaned while in service, with no bypass.
Large-diameter pipe systems can become clogged with sand or debris, causing blockage, reducing flow capacity, and causing potential upstream flooding. Over time, sand seeps into collection systems through cracks and seams, constricting pipe flow once it begins to accumulate.
Other unwanted debris, both naturally occurring and manmade (litter), makes its way into pipe systems, adding to the problem and obstructing flow. Other unwanted debris, both naturally occurring and manmade (litter), makes its way into pipe systems, adding to the problem and obstructing flow. Since we are unable to see the accumulated material, the problem often goes unnoticed. When this impacts a lift station, energy costs can rise significantly as well as wear and tear on equipment.
If capacity isn’t restored, a blocked pipe could potentially cause flooding and water damage in the surrounding areas, as well as impeding overall flow. USST removed 32-tons of sand from a stormwater pipe in Miami-Dade county under surcharged conditions. With USST’s technology, our crews can clear blockages in submerged or surcharged conditions without the need to bypass flow and without resorting to confined space entry.
Examples of pipe systems USST has the ability to clean appear below:
Gravity/Sanitary Sewer Collection Pipes
Stormwater Systems, including box culverts and baffle boxes
There are many types of tank structures used in a variety of ways in wastewater treatment systems, and they can all experience reduced capacity from the gradual accumulation of sand, grit, FOGs, rag material, vegetation, and more. Buildups of these types of material leads to increased energy costs and reduces overall plant efficiency.
With the assistance of USST’s patented equipment and process, our crews can tackle the toughest of issues, often while the system or structure remains in full operation in submerged conditions. We provide facilities the option to maintain a regular maintenance schedule instead of performing costly repairs or replacing expensive infrastructure.
USST can clean the following, but not limited to, structures:
Chlorine Contact Chamber
Lift or pump stations are an integral part of the wastewater collection system. They transport wastewater from lower to higher elevations and are often equipped with one to three pumps for redundancy. Lift stations tend to accumulate sand and grit due to unwanted inflow and infiltration (I&I) issues during periods of high flow (e.g., heavy rain or high tourist traffic) which can clog the system. The more sand in a wet well, the more frequently the pumps must start and stop due to reduced cycle times. A facility may only have one operating pump, putting undue stress on the already limited capacity of the structure.
Performing regular lift station maintenance reduces the risk of sanitary sewer overflow (SSO), where untreated wastewater is discharged from a sewer into the environment before reaching a wastewater treatment facility. SSO can have extremely negative consequences for the environment and population in the areas surrounding the overflowing wet well.
With USST’s Combination3® truck and patented GritGone Process®, our crews can clean lift stations with one piece of equipment and quickly switch between cleaning modes to solve most access issues. The jetter has the ability to clean the structure, and the vacuum removes material such as fats, oils and greases. The truck’s downhole pump removes sand and grit from the wet well while the lift or pump station remains in full operation at full capacity, without the need for confined space entry.
Our wastewater collection and treatment systems remove the biological waste in our water by design. However, other waste — debris such as sand and grit — accumulates in collection and treatment infrastructure, but their systems are not designed to remove this type of material. This type of debris accumulates because most of the wastewater infrastructure is below the earth’s surface. Collection systems are comprised of pipe segments that have joints, seams, gaps, and cracks, which are exacerbated as the pipes shift over time. These gaps allow sand to enter the pipe.
The Damage Done by Grit
Sand and grit, unmanaged, can wreak havoc on the treatment process by reducing the operating capacity of the system. Sand and grit cause abnormal wear and tear on pumps and other mechanical components. Hydraulically speaking, sand and grit can adversely affect operational aspects of the collection and treatment system including full or partial plugging of outlets and/or pump suctions.
The Risks of Grit and Sand Accumulation
Determining whether or not there is an issue is the real challenge. Pipes are below ground while tanks are made of concrete or steel and are not transparent. Accumulated sand and grit sits at the bottom of these structures, reducing valuable capacity, until issues such as overflows make it clear that immediate attention is needed.
Equipment failure is a problem for wastewater facilities because it often takes a significant amount of time to repair or replace the equipment in question, resulting in the system running at reduced capacity or having to figure out a bypass solution. In smaller facilities, there may not be an option to divert or bypass flow, leaving them in a critical situation that requires a quick resolution.
A Solution to Unwanted Grit and Sand
Often, the first solution to restoring critical capacity is to build new infrastructure. This option is costly, and municipalities must spend a great deal of time to navigate a lengthy approval process, financing, design, and finally, constructing new infrastructure.
Removal of material can reduce energy demands and allow structures to return to their design capacity. Regular maintenance to remove accumulated grit is a much less costly solution than rebuilding infrastructure or replacing entire pipe systems.
HOW 60-TONS OF LIME, SAND AND GRIT WERE REMOVED IN EAST FLORIDA
A large Biological Treatment Unit (BTU) at
an East Florida wastewater facility was experiencing reduced capacity and due
for maintenance. Measuring 113-feet by
130-feet and consisting of three concentric rings with a center pier effluent
chamber, the cleaning of the tank was part of a plan to remove tough lime material
that had accumulated over time.
Lime is typically used for precipitating impurities, adjusting pH levels, and odor control. In the case of this BTU, the lime was not intended to be introduced into the system and was taking up valuable capacity. The sludgy, clay-like consistence of lime material can prove challenging during removal and was an issue that had previously been unsolvable by others.
Led by Foreman Michael Kisling, USST crew arrived
with the Combination3® Truck prepared to tackle the challenge. In order to effectively remove large
quantities of lime, sand, and grit material from the BTU, a drain down was necessary.
USST crew utilized the Combination3®
Truck’s powerful vacuum to first clean the structure’s outer rings, moving on
to the center pier effluent chamber, removing an estimated 9-feet of material. Combination3® Truck’s vacuum is
powered by a blower capable of delivering nearly double the CFM of a standard
vacuum truck, allowing the crew to remove large amounts of wastewater residuals
and complete the job quickly.
“I’m proud of the performance of both our
crew and equipment on this project,” said Denver Stutler, USST CEO. “Being able to reach and remove what others
can’t is our specialty, and we welcome the challenges.”
In total, an estimated 45-tons of lime,
sand and grit material were cleaned from the outer rings while 15-tons were
removed from the effluent chamber and disposed of offsite.
USST can build a plan to remove material from both wet or dry conditions in a variety of hard-to-reach environments from tanks, pipes, lift stations, and more. Give one of our project advisors a call for a free site assessment at (844) 765-7866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOT A BLOCKED PIPE? IS IT SUBMERGED? UNABLE TO BYPASS FLOW?
U.S. Submergent Technologies cleans sand, grit, and other debris out of wet environments in challenging conditions. We’re well known for our success in wastewater treatment facilities, but our Combination3® technology gives us the ability to clean collection infrastructure and large-diameter pipe that previously may not have been able to be cleaned, while systems remain in service and with no bypass.
Buildup in Pipe Systems
Large-diameter pipe systems can become clogged with sand or debris,
causing blockage, reducing flow capacity, and causing potential upstream flooding.
Over time, sand seeps into collection systems through cracks and seams, constricting
pipe flow once it begins to accumulate.
Other unwanted debris, both naturally occurring and manmade (litter),
makes its way into pipe systems, adding to the problem and obstructing
flow. Since we are unable to see the accumulated
material, the problem often goes unnoticed.
When this impacts a lift station, energy costs can rise significantly as
well as wear and tear on equipment.
If capacity isn’t restored, a blocked pipe could potentially cause
flooding and water damage in the surrounding areas, as well as impeding overall
USST recently removed 32-tons of sand from a stormwater pipe in Miami-Dade County under surcharged conditions, and restored capacity to more than 7,000-feet of gravity sewer by removing 180-tons of material with no bypass in Tampa, Florida.
With USST’s technology, our crews can clear blockages in submerged or
surcharged conditions without the need to bypass flow and without resorting to
confined space entry. A few examples of pipe systems that USST has
the ability to clean are as follows:
Gravity/Sanitary Sewer Collection Pipes
Stormwater Systems, including box culverts and baffle boxes
If you really want to see if you have an issue, USST can
deliver live inspection feeds providing comprehensive reports and video for
both pre- and post- cleaning inspections.
Performing these inspections allow USST to deliver a more tailored solution
and generates a quicker outcome due to having a clear understanding of the
problem to solve.
A facility in the Town of Branford, FL, was experiencing loss of detention volume and reduced water quality as a result of accumulated sand and grit on the bottom of their aeration basin and digester. The roughly 200,000 gallon per day facility had a large quantity of sand submerged under water. The accumulated sand and grit had reduced the efficiency of the grit chamber and was potentially exposing other elements in the treatment system to a buildup of sediments and particulates.
Using the 949 Combination3® Truck and the GritGone ProcessSM, U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) pulled more than 35 cubic yards of accumulated material (sand and grit) from the bottom of their wastewater treatment plant without taking the system offline! By removing the sand, the Town of Branford facility realized a significant increase in capacity.
The USST crew provided a sustainable solution that reduces energy costs, reuses wastewater and generates a waste product that can be economically disposed of in a landfill. The client was very pleased with the results.