What’s in the Tank?

U.S. Submergent Technologies boasts its ability to remove sand and grit while the plant remains in full operation, and our equipment has a proven success track to back this claim. But what if we aren’t talking about sand and grit? Let’s take a look at what other materials can be settled at the bottom of the tank and how the GritGone ProcessSM can handle them.

The types of material found at the bottom of the tank varies depending on which stage it is in the wastewater treatment process. For example, in the anaerobic zone, the accumulated material may not be only sand, but it could also be biosolids, depending on the process and how much time has passed since the last cleaning.

The GritGone ProcessSM can remove material that has specific gravity values greater than water. The specific gravity of biosolids is less than water, but sand, grit and other accumulated materials have a specific gravity greater than water.

Can the GritGone ProcessSM Remove Biosolids too?

The GritGone ProcessSM removes nearly all accumulated material at the bottom of a structure using our proprietary downhole system. Through our process, pressure separates the material with a specific gravity greater than water from the water and the accumulated material less than water. The accumulated material with a specific gravity less than water, or suspended solids, are returned to the treatment system for proper treatment and disposal. This type of flushing can still provide benefits, however the “hauled off” quantities are not as high.

How Much Material Should We Expect to Haul Off?

It depends on the amount of material in the tank that has a specific gravity greater than water. If what is accumulated is 100% sand, then usually 50-60% of the “saturated” volume is removed and is typically “paint-filter dry” sand that is ready to be taken to a landfill.

Decayed biosolids on the other hand, may yield less than 10% of their “saturated” volume.

Our process pumps at 2500 gallons per minute or greater, so it allows the removal of all of the accumulated solids using the ambient water. The water, or decant is returned to the structure, along with the suspended solids that are lighter than water.

The amount of solids removed depends on the percent of material with a specific gravity greater than water in the structure.


What are the benefits of using GritGone ProcessSM if the material is mostly biosolids?

Even though not as much material is hauled to the landfill, the GritGone ProcessSM still restores capacity of the accumulated material and all water bound up in the accumulated material. Other benefits of the GritGone ProcessSM include:

  • Removal of accumulated material for proper treatment and disposal
  • Removal of septic pockets bound in the accumulated material
  • Optimize available treatment volume
  • Reduced energy required to keep accumulated suspended
  • Flushing of bio-solids for proper treatment and disposal

U.S. Submergent Finishing Sand and Grit Removal Project in Tampa

U.S. Submergent Technologies is finishing its largest project to date: the removal of accumulated debris in a South Tampa wastewater treatment facility. The facility is undergoing a major expansion and is currently under construction. Debris needs to be removed prior to demolition of the current structures.

The 949 Combination³® truck was able to successfully remove sand and grit from an aeration basin while it remained in operation. Here is the result of what was pulled out of the tank:

Sand and grit removed from aeration basin.

Sand and grit removed from aeration basin.

We were able to remove the material faster, safer, and more efficiently than any other equipment currently on the market.

How to Tell If You Have a Sand & Grit Problem

Sand and grit is a common problem in most wastewater treatment facilities, but since we cannot see the accumulated sand and grit without draining the tank, the problem often goes unrealized. Sand and grit accumulates as a result of inflow/infiltration. This can greatly increase costs and reduce efficiency of the wastewater system. 

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

One way to tell if you are accumulating too much sand is if your inflow increases during the wet season. 

You will also notice higher energy costs. This is because the blowers or diffusers in your tanks need to overcompensate for the lower capacity, causing them to work overtime. 

Your system will also notice worse test results for BOD, TSS and Nitrates, which means lower quality effluent. 

Removal of sand and grit is necessary for increasing capacity, improving efficiency and reducing energy costs. 

An illustration of how sand and grit goes unnoticed. 

USST Combination³® Truck Featured in APWA Reporter

The American Public Works Association recently featured the model 360HD Combination³® truck in their monthly newsletter, The Reporter. The article discussed how USST’s unique combination truck removes sand and grit in submerged conditions, while the plant remains online. Read it below or view the issue on their website.

Congratulations to the Florida Rural Water Association!

U.S. Submergent Technologies congratulates the Florida Rural Water Association on their recent recognition of “Association of the Year” by the National Rural Water Association. 

The award was presented at the NRWA’s annual Tribute to Excellence Awards as part of the WaterPro Conference on Monday, October 6, in Seattle, WA. 

According to the press release, NRWA director Kent Watson commended the FRWA on their “endeavors to achieve as much as possible with the resources available for their membership, which is over 2,000.” He goes on to say that, “Their Board of Directors, membership and a vast number of programs and services has positioned them to be very effective in their association mission for over 35 years. With a staff of over 25 and a budget of near $3.5 million per year, they offer many services and programs to meet state water industry needs.”

Florida also won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Technical Assistance. 

Congratulations, FRWA team! 

USST to Exhibit and Present at WWETT in February!

U.S. Submergent Technologies is excited to exhibit and present our sand and grit removal system at Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment and Transport Show (WWETT), February 23-25, 2015 in Indianapolis.

We will be bringing our model 360HD Combination³® truck to showcase our unique capabilities. Unlike most combination trucks that feature vacuum and jetter technology, the Combination³® trucks offer a third component: a downhole system that can remove sand and grit from completely submerged environments. No need to shut down your plant, and no need to bypass pump!

We welcome WWETT attendees to visit Booth #1407 for a tour of the truck and to speak to some of our staff members about the capabilities and past case studies. Seeing is believing!

USST CEO Denver J. Stutler is also giving a presentation at WWETT entitled “The Waste in our Wastewater.” This presentation will give in depth insight into how sand and grit gets accumulated in wastewater treatment plants through the inflow/infiltration. Mr. Stutler will also discuss some challenges that facilities face when too much sand and grit gets accumulated (i.e. a decrease in capacity/efficiency).

The Waste in our Wastewater will take place Wednesday, February 25, 9:30am in Room 240-242.

U.S. Submergent Technologies also sponsored the “Toughest Truck in Water and Wastewater” – those who register for WWETT are automatically entered to win!

Be sure to register for WWETT – February 23-25 in Indianapolis – to learn about U.S. Submergent Technologies sand and grit removal system!


USST Congratulates USF Students on WEFTEC Design Competition

When USST staff members attended WEFTEC, we were pleased to learn that students from our own backyard at USF Tampa won first place in the Wastewater Design competition.

The national competition is intended to promote “real world” design experience for students interested in pursuing an education and/or career in water engineering and sciences.

To congratulate the students, U.S. Submergent Technologies sponsored the campus FWEA and AWWA monthly chapter meeting. USST CEO Denver Stutler gave a presentation about the Combination³® technology and its various applications in the marketplace. Following the presentation, the students asked great questions about the technology, the civil engineering industry, and starting a business.

We had a great time interacting with the students and look forward possible collaborations!

USST Exhibits at Water Jet Technology Association Conference

Back to the Big Easy! U.S. Submergent Technologies recently exhibited at the Water Jet Technology Association Expo in New Orleans. More than 600 attendees and 300 exhibitors were present. Attendees included people from various areas of the water industry who were interested in new technology and products to the marketplace.

U.S. Submergent Technologies brought the model 360HD Combination³® truck, and it was a big hit! Our unique capabilities overcome the limitations of regular vacuum or combination trucks. That’s why we’ve coined the term Combination³® – to distinguish our third component, the downhole system that allows us to perform sand and grit removal while the plant remains online!

Here are some photos from the event!


U.S. Submergent Technologies recently attended the largest water conference in world – WEFTEC! The show was at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

WEFTEC boasted an attendance of more than 20,000 water professionals and 1,000 exhibitors to take up nearly 300,000 net square feet of space.

U.S. Submergent Technologies brought the 360HD Combination³® truck which impressed many of our booth guests!

Our booth visitors were surprised to learn that the 360HD is not a regular vacuum truck like the others displayed at WEFTEC. Our unique third component – the downhole system – gives our truck superior capabilities and overcomes the limitations of regular vacuum trucks.

Overall, we received positive feedback from our guests, and we are excited to pursue more opportunities across the country and the world!

Take a look at some of our pictures:

U.S. Submergent is Headed to WEFTEC!

U.S. Submergent Technologies is headed to one of the biggest water shows in the country – WEFTEC – and we are bringing our sand and grit removal truck, 360HD.

The show begins September 29 and will go until October 1. There will be more than 22,000 attendees, with 85% of those in the wastewater industry. We can’t wait to show the new grit removal combination truck and explain how it works to people in the industry.

USST coined the term “Combinaton³”® to differentiate our grit removal trucks’ capabilities from most combination trucks in the marketplace. Most combination trucks feature vacuum and jetter technology. The Combination³® trucks adds a third component that overcomes the limitations of vacuum trucks – our proprietary downhole system. With the third component that most other trucks lack, we are able to clean in submerged environments and handle the removal of high viscosity material, such as heavy crude oil.

We are looking forward to meeting WEFTEC attendees and explaining how our equipment could be of value to them or their customers. Our booth number is #9032, so please stop by and say hi!