From Jobs Big to Small, in 2020 USST Solved It All

USST Crews Removed Over 10,000 Tons of Material in 2020

U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) has been expanding on our versatility and widening our scope of experience by performing submergent cleaning all over Florida and in parts of Georgia. In 2020, USST removed more than 10,000 tons of material for our customers. Some of the material USST removed includes; sand, grit, sludge, rag, FOG, grout, lime, filter media, and biosolids.

“We are proud of our crews’ accomplishments, work completed, and the experiences gained. In 2020, our company stepped further outside the wastewater industry into potable, stormwater, and industrial applications. These valuable experiences expand our depth of knowledge when cleaning wet infrastructure,” said Denver J. Stutler, Jr., CEO at USST.

USST’s knowledgeable crews can restore the capacity of your wet infrastructure.

Two examples illustrate the capabilities and versatility of our crews and equipment.

In South Florida, crews removed over 400 tons of material to restore capacity and maintain flow for critical wet infrastructure, this project involved a few structures including a digester tank which required confined space entry. When this is required on a project, USST crews take extra care to follow our company’s detailed Confined Space Program. Crew members ensure that the presence of atmospheric hazards are eliminated through proper ventilation and constant monitoring of air quality. Learn more about the importance of safety at USST by clicking here.

Meanwhile, in Central Florida, USST restored approximately 2500 gallons of treatment capacity at a small community package plant. Because of our patented Combination3® technology, the plant did not need to shut down or go off-line to perform the cleaning. USST’s Combination3® Truck is a versatile piece of equipment with a powerful vacuum, downhole pump, jetter, and extended-reach boom. These trucks can clean in wet or dry conditions in up to eight different setups without bringing multiple pieces of equipment to the job site.

USST can clean in submerged conditions with no need to
shut down or go off-line.

Are you interested in restoring the capacity of your wet infrastructure in 2021?

Call one of our knowledgeable project advisors for a free site assessment at (844) 958-1253 or email info@ussubmergent.com.

Introducing SediVision, A Decision-Making Tool for Allocating Limited Resources

SediVisionTM allows you to see the conditions beneath dark water due to excessive turbidity in your tanks

Given most wastewater infrastructure is out of sight, it often can be out of mind unless it becomes an emergency. Because the water in these structures is highly turbid, it can be difficult to see what is beneath the water stealing your valuable capacity. To help managers responsible for the maintenance of critical wet infrastructure, U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) developed a remarkable decision-making tool designed especially for wastewater conditions called SediVisionTM.

SediVisionTM allows for complete visibility where there has never been any, under dark water in your tanks. This information can be used to guide the allocation of limited resources and direct cleaning efforts towards structures with the highest accumulation, resulting in a more efficient cleaning process.  SediVisionTM provides visibility and preparation for the project ahead, ensuring a more tailored solution, precise use of time and resources, and a quicker outcome to meet your needs.

When visibility is crucial to the job ahead, SediVisionTM allows you to see the conditions beneath dark water in your tanks.

USST’s SediVisionTM Provides:

  • Comprehensive pre-and post-cleaning inspection images and reports.
  • Recommendations for the best course of action for removal of material.

Would knowing how much and what the material is in your tanks be useful?

USST’s SediVisionTM can help you make better decisions managing limited resources while prioritizing critical wet infrastructure. 

Call one of our knowledgeable representatives at (844) 949-1032 or email info@ussubmergent.com.

U.S. Submergent Technologies Solves Problems Outside Wastewater Industry

In Southern Florida, Over 14 Tons of Material Removed from Salmon Fishery

Recently, U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) had a chance to use our tools and team to solve problems outside the wastewater industry. A salmon fishery required the removal of waste material from three of their tank structures to restore vital capacity and maintain flow. USST’s powerful Combination3® Truck, a versatile patented piece of equipment, was used to safely and efficiently remove over 14 tons of material from these structures.

“The versatility of our Combination3® Truck allows us to access and clean structures outside of typical wastewater treatment facilities,” said Paul Del Favero, Operations Manager at USST. “This is another outstanding example of our approach to solving a customer’s problems – understand the problem, apply the right tools, and get the job done safely with our qualified team.”

USST’s extremely versatile Combination3® Truck specializes in removing material from structures such as pipes, tanks, and lift stations while they remain in full operation.

A challenge on this project is one of the structures, the Chiller Tank, was inside a large building and would typically pose an access issue for waste removal services. However, USST’s crew using its pump while extending a vacuum hose attached to our powerful Combination3® Truck was able to reach the structure and remove all of the material.

The need for confined space entry to all three structures posed another challenge to the crew. Fish waste is high in H2S, or sulfide levels. USST’s highly trained crew excels at confined space entry and while this is the first time USST has cleaned fish residuals in an industrial setting we were able to tackle this challenge safely and efficiently.

USST’s well-trained crew performed atmospheric testing and discovered high traces of sulfide, then proceeded to ventilate the tank structures and get the sulfide levels down until it was safe for personnel to enter. Throughout the cleaning of these structures, restraints and harnesses were used and air levels were constantly monitored ensuring the safety of our crew members. USST undergoes confined space training every day and safety is always our number one priority on any job. 

Learn more about the structures we clean here.  

Do you have a challenging situation that needs attention?  USST’s Combination3® Truck makes restoring treatment or collection capacity easier than you think. Call one of our knowledgeable representatives at (844) 949-1032 or email info@ussubmergent.com.

Clean large diameter pipe while in service

Over 4,800 Feet of Large Diameter Pipe Cleaned and Inspected While in Operation

In Central Florida, U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) cleaned and inspected over 1,900 linear feet of 36” pipe and 2,800 linear feet of 48” pipe. Our patented and versatile Combination Truck allowed USST to clean these large diameter pipes while they remained in service, with no need for bypass or shutdown.

U.S. Submergent Technologies’ crew cleaning large diameter pipe while it remains in service
Using See, Clean, & Verify, U.S. Submergent Technologies’ crew removed 276 tons of sand and grit while remaining in operation.

During the 2020 rainy season, pipe systems were put to the test with additional flows from rainfall. This stretch of pipe was along a major thoroughfare and could not be taken out of service which presented unique challenges that only USST’s patented technology could resolve. Using our phased approach of See, Clean, & VerifyTM, 276 tons of sand and grit were removed while remaining in operation. Our SediVisionTM technology allowed USST’s crew to provide a post-cleaning inspection and verify for the customer that their pipe capacity was fully restored.

SAFETY FIRST WHILE CLEANING PIPES IN SERVICE

“When going into a job like this safety is our number one priority. Through extensive and ongoing training, the principle of safety is embedded into the function of every single crew member,” said Aaron Hood, Operations Manager at USST. “Our experience and dependability made for a winning combination with this challenge, and we were happy to meet it head-on, resolving this customer’s pipe capacity issues and restoring optimal flow.”

TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOWS US TO CLEAN PIPES WHILE IN SERVICE

USST’s Combination Trucks are so much more than basic vacuum trucks.  Equipped with a powerful vacuum, downhole pump, jetter, and extended-reach boom, they can clean in wet or dry conditions in up to eight different setups without bringing multiple pieces of equipment to the job site. While on the job, USST crews can cycle roll-off trucks and steadily remove material, with no need to stop work, ultimately saving time and increasing efficiency.

Learn more about the structures we clean here.  

Have a challenging situation that needs attention?  The Combination Truck makes restoring treatment or collection capacity easier than you think.  Call one of our knowledgeable representatives at (844) 949-1032 or email info@ussubmergent.com.

USST’s Comprehensive Safety Operations Program Has You Covered

U.S. Submergent Technologies’ comprehensive safety operations program sets us apart from other companies. In addition to providing our customers with thorough, personalized safety plans for each jobsite, every member of U.S. Submergent Technologies’ experienced field crew has completed more than 80 hours of safety and compliance training with ongoing on-the-job instruction. Our crews expertly operate our one-of-a-kind patented technology while making safety our top priority. 

USST crews follow safety protocol while cleaning a tank in operation

Why a safety plan matters

A U.S. Submergent Technologies’ Health & Safety plan outlines — in detail — how we will approach the project at hand and the safety precautions that we will take while performing the work. A well-thought-out safety plan helps our crews, our customers, and our communities avoid dangerous situations, and just as important, a safety plan outlines the appropriate response in case an unexpected situation arises. 

What U.S. Submergent Technologies’ safety plans cover 

U.S. Submergent Technologies is committed to instituting and maintaining a comprehensive Health and Safety Program. The goal of our Health & Safety Program is to take the proper steps to prevent loss of life, injury, or property damage to all employees and members of the general public. U.S. Submergent Technologies recognizes that the responsibilities for safety and loss prevention must be shared by everyone.

Our plan typically includes but not limited to the following:

  • Site Specific Health and Safety Plan addressing risk assessment and hazards
  • First Aid and local first responder information
  • Transportation Plan addressing route hazards, route and fleet safety
  • Disposal Site Requirements and Compliance

Knowing the details above will ensure that all parties can get the right operators/employees involved and that everyone knows what to expect when walking onto a jobsite.

USST foreman follows the safety plan while cleaning pipe
Paul Del Favero, longtime USST Foreman.

How we make safety a priority 

The versatility of the Combination3® Truck often allows us to clean tanks and pipes while in service, reducing or even eliminating the need for confined space entry, if conditions allow. However, when confined space entry is necessary, our crews take extra care to follow our Confined Space Program, ensuring that the presence of atmospheric hazards are eliminated through proper ventilation and quality air monitoring. The space is made safe prior to entering. This activity is documented on our confined space permit.

In instances when confined space entry is unavoidable, you can trust that every member of U.S. Submergent Technologies’ experienced field crew will prioritize safety and that our safety operations program will ensure that you know what to expect throughout the process. 

For questions about our safety program or inquiries regarding specific issues your facility is facing, please call 844-765-7866 or email info@ussubmergent.com.

From Lime to Lawn Chairs: Materials We Remove from Pipes and Tanks

Sand and grit removed from oxidation ditch
Sand and grit removed from oxidation ditch.

We’ve seen it all: sand, grit, sludge, lime buildup, vegetation, and even larger debris such as metal handrails and lawn chairs limiting capacity in pipes and tanks. U.S. Submergent Technologies can remove any type of material (yes, even lawn chairs!) from wet or dry environments in a variety of structures.

We use the extremely versatile Combination3® Truck to specialize in removing material from structures such as pipes, tanks, and lift stations while they remain in full operation, and we can also perform work in a drain-down or bypass situation when larger debris is present.

Debris, boards, and vegetation removed from a stormwater box culvert
Debris removed from Stormwater Box Culvert.

A history of removing difficult material from pipes, tanks, and other structures

U.S. Submergent Technologies has tackled unique situations, including heavy lime accumulation in a large biological treatment unit, resulting in the removal of 60-tons of lime, sand and grit. We’ve successfully cleaned a tank overrun with 4-foot high vegetation sitting on an 8-foot root system. The U.S. Submergent Technologies’ crew once developed a crane attachment to be used with the Combination3® Truck’s extendable boom to reach and remove difficult rag material — and even a metal handrail — from a splitter box. 

Our experienced crew removed wood and lawn chairs from a stormwater box culvert, as well as more traditional projects, like the removal of 402-tons of sand and grit from an oxidation ditch (without a drain-down) and navigating 7,000-feet of gravity sewer while in service.

Expertise in removing a wide range of material 

U.S. Submergent Technologies has experience removing a variety of materials from all types of structures. Materials that we have direct expertise in removing, but aren’t limited to, are:

  • Sand and grit
  • Rag material
  • Sludge and biosolids
  • Wastewater residuals
  • Lime
  • Vegetation
  • Large debris
Rag material removed from splitter box structure
Rag material removed from splitter box structure.

Expertise in removing debris from challenging structures and situations

Our crews have quickly and safely removed debris from all kinds of environments under various conditions. Structures and situations we specialize in, but aren’t limited to, include: 

  • Tanks with high walls while in operation
  • Large-diameter pipes in submerged or surcharged conditions with no bypass
  • Deep wet wells while in service
  • Splitter boxes or box culverts while in operation

If you have a problem that needs solving, chances are we’ve handled it in the past and can offer a solution. We employ a variety of different methodologies to capture debris using our versatile, one-of-a-kind Combination3® Truck and expertly trained crews. Contact us to find out what we can do for you. 

Remove sand, grit, and lime material from wastewater treatment facilities

PREVIOUSLY UNREMOVABLE MATERIAL REMOVED IN EAST FLORIDA


Before and after photo of wastewater treatment plant cleaned by U.S. Submergent Technologies
BTU Structure at East Florida plant before and after material was removed.

Sand, grit, lime, rags, sludge, and other wastewater residuals had accumulated over time in two large East Florida BTU structures, reducing the wastewater treatment plant’s overall capacity. Due to the challenging nature of the material, previous companies had been unable to clean the structure. A buildup of lime sludge was the main issue the facility was facing, and the material was described as having the consistency of “slightly dried out play-doh.”

The cost of Sand, grit, lime, rag, and  sludge buildup for wastewater treatment plants

Lime sludge material found in wastewater treatment structure cleaned by U.S. Submergent Technologies
Lime sludge material found in structure at East Florida plant.

A buildup of material in a tank such as this has the potential to cause several issues, including reduced treatment capacity and wear and tear on equipment.  A drain-down and confined space entry was necessary in order to efficiently access the material. 

Each of the facility’s above-ground BTU tanks measured at 113-feet by 130-feet, with 17-foot high walls. The Combination Truck’s powerful vacuum was used to remove sand, grit, lime, sludge, and rags without any issues.  USST’s vacuum delivers 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, 842-tons were removed from the combined structures quickly and safely and disposed of offsite, minimizing odor concerns.

“Lime in particular is one of the hardest materials to remove from a structure,” reflected USST Foreman, Michael Kisling. “I’m proud of the performance of our experienced crew members and thankful we have equipment versatile enough to adapt to anything we encounter.”

U.S. Submergent Technologies’ Combination3® Truck can remove any material from wastewater facilities

U.S. Submergent Technologies’ Combination3® Truck cleaning wastewater facilities while in operation
Combination Truck at work.

USST’s Combination 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.

Call one of our knowledgeable project advisors for a free site assessment or to ask any questions you may have at (844) 765-7866 or email info@ussubmergent.com. Check out our video to learn more about the Combination technology.

How the Combination3® Truck cleans pipes and tanks in service

WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?

U.S. Submergent Technologies’ Combination3® Truck ready to clean pipes and tanks in service
USST’s Combination Truck

In a word, Gravity!

The Combination3® Truck is a unique, ambidextrous tool that allows us to clean pipes, tanks, and a variety of other structures while in operation. It can vacuum using suction and pump using positive pressure, as well as perform jetting. Here, we’re going to examine the differences between traditional technology versus the powerful capabilities of the Combination3® Truck.

Let’s take a look at how traditional vacuum technology works

Vacuum technology has been around for 50-years and is typically the first tool called upon for cleaning most pipes and tanks. A vacuum uses the flow of air to move debris into the debris box.  In a dry environment, this approach works well. Vacuum technology begins to be less effective with the presence of water. As the amount of water increases, the effectiveness of removing debris such as sand and grit becomes less effective. This is because water is lighter than the debris to be removed. As a result of this natural consequence of gravity, the debris box fills with water. Essentially, the vacuum moves the lighter material first. This is especially true for large diameter pipes. As pipe diameter increases, the flow of water also increases exponentially.

How does the CombinationTruck work differently?

The Combination Truck can overcome vacuum limitations by switching to the pumping mode coupled with a pressurized debris box. This process, known as the GritGone Process®, provides the ability to minimize or even eliminate the amount of water hauled off-site. If a tank or pipe can be cleaned while in service, the amount of water to be hauled off is minimized.

Ironically, the more water found in a structure while cleaning means less water to be hauled offsite.  “Wait! What?”, you may ask yourself. Let us explain further. If the pipe or tank is full, the Combination Truck uses water instead of air to move the debris.  In other words, vacuum uses air to move whatever is in its path and both water and debris travel into the debris box and remain when the air leaves. Conversely, when water is used to transport debris to the debris box, only the debris remains in the box since the water leaves.

Let’s not forget about the limitations of tank depth and height

In addition to the struggle with excessive amounts of water being sucked into a debris tank, another limitation imposed by gravity is pipe depth or tank height. A typical vacuum can suck, or pull up, and is effective up to one atmosphere of pressure, roughly 30-feet. When using the pumping capabilities of the CombinationTruck, the pump can ‘push’ the water and debris significantly more than 30-feet. When considering the height of a typical vacuum truck, this essentially means the limit of effective vacuum is about 20-feet below ground. Once depth becomes an issue, the force of gravity simply cannot be overcome by vacuum suction.

U.S. Submergent Technologies’ Combination3® Truck reaching over tank walls to perform cleaning while in operation
USST’s Combination Truck reaching over tank walls to perform cleaning while in operation.

Benefits of cleaning in a wet environment

An added benefit of cleaning while in service, or wet/submerged cleaning, is the elimination of potentially hazardous confined space entry, creating a safer work environment for crew members. If conditions allow, the CombinationTruck can clean both tanks and pipes while in service, reducing or even eliminating the need for confined space entry and avoiding potentially costly bypass.

A combination of services that can be performed in full operation

Uniting the unique cleaning capabilities of the CombinationTruck with the ability to see inside tanks and pipes is a powerful combination of services. When visibility is crucial to the job ahead, USST’s CCTV/sonar assessment and verification services allow us to see and verify the conditions of both tanks and pipes in real time while in full operation with no bypass or facility shut down. The CombinationTruck performs the cleaning portion of the job, as described above. Together, these tools allow USST to offer a unique approach to solving problems.

Learn more about USST’s new See, Clean & Verify services here.

360-Tons of Sludge Removal from Covered Digester

NITROGEN PURGE PERFORMED ON TANK TO LOWER EXPLOSION HAZARD PRIOR TO CLEANING

U.S. Submergent Technologies foreman removing material from a wastewater structure
Paul Del Favero, longtime USST Foreman.

Sludge and other wastewater residuals had accumulated over time in a Southeast Florida digestor, reducing its treatment capacity. Measuring 65-feet in diameter with 36-feet high walls, the tank was in need of cleaning which contained levels of methane due to the treatment process.

Methane buildup in wastewater tanks requires additional safety protocols

Methane buildup in wastewater tanks occurs naturally due to the treatment process and has the potential to be hazardous. A drain down of the digestor was necessary before work could commence. To create a safer environment for crew members and reduce the risk, a nitrogen purge was performed to displace the methane found in the tank.

Because confined space entry was needed to access and remove material, USST crew took extra care to monitor air quality levels, maintain proper ventilation, and check gas meters.

“We take care to follow all safety and compliance procedures when entering a confined space,” said Charles Harrington, USST Foreman. “We got in there safely and were able to remove large amounts of material quickly.”

U.S. Submergent Technologies crew removing sludge and wastewater residuals from a digester.
USST’s Oba Carter, checking the roll off.

How U.S. Submergent Technologies removed 360 tons of sludge from a covered digester

The Combination Truck’s powerful vacuum was used to remove sludge and wastewater residuals 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 material and complete the job quickly.  In total, 360-tons were removed from the structure, ready for offsite disposal.

USST’s Combination Trucks are more than just a simple vac truck.  Equipped with a powerful vacuum, downhole pump, jetter, and extended-reach boom, USST has the ability to clean in wet or dry conditions in up to eight different setups without bringing multiple pieces of equipment to the jobsite. Learn more about the structures we clean here .

Have a challenging situation that needs attention?  The Combination Truck makes restoring treatment or collection capacity easier than you think.  Call one of our knowledgeable representatives at (844) 765-7866 or email info@ussubmergent.com.

402-Tons of Sand and Grit Removed from Oxidation Ditch While In Service

NO DRAIN DOWN REQUIRED TO CLEAN OUT YEARS OF BUILT UP MATERIAL IN CENTRAL FLORIDA WASTEWATER FACILITY

U.S. Submergent Technologies’ Combination3® Truck’s extended boom and downhole pump reaching and removing material from an oxidation ditch
USST’s Combination Truck’s extended boom and downhole pump reaching and removing material from oxidation ditch.

An oxidation ditch at a Central Florida Wastewater Treatment Plant was in need of cleaning, having built up a significant amount of sand and grit.  The facility’s treatment process is comprised of a Type 1 Oxidation Ditch operating as a conventional activated sludge treatment facility measuring 320-feet by 70-feet.

How U.S. Submergent Technologies removed sand and grit from the tank without performing a drain down

USST Foreman, Michael Kisling, led the USST crew through the project from start to finish, utilizing the powerful Combination Truck and GritGone Process® to tackle the job. The truck’s extended boom and downhole pump were used to reach and remove sand and grit from the tank without having to perform a drain down.

“One of the advantages of our equipment that makes it so unique is that we can remove very large amounts of material while the whole facility remains in operation,” said Michael. “Plants don’t have to shut down or alter treatment flow, and we can reach and remove material quickly.”

Another advantage of using the Combination Truck to perform the cleaning is that confined space entry was not needed. The facility saves time and money by avoiding confined space work and crew members benefit from a lower risk jobsite.

Sand and grit removed from oxidation ditch without drain down
Sand and grit removed from oxidation ditch.

With the GritGone Process®, the sand and grit is separated from the slurry for disposal while the water is returned to the oxidation ditch for treatment. USST can dispose of more material at a higher production rate without the added weight of water.

In total, approximately 402-tons were removed from the structure, the equivalent of 141 fully-loaded F-150 trucks!  The material was disposed of offsite, restoring much needed capacity to the facility.

U.S. Submergent Technologies’  crew performing sand and grit removal services
USST crew performing sand and grit removal services.

Need a structure cleaned quickly or have a facility that must remain online?  USST is well-equipped to perform sand and grit removal from both wet or dry conditions and can do so at a higher production rate than most vacuum trucks.  Learn more about our tank capabilities here. Give one of our representatives a call for a free site assessment at (844) 765-7866 or email info@ussubmergent.com to learn more.