Jack Robbins is the Superintendent of Water Pollution Control for the Board of Public Works for the town of Beatrice, NE, a community of 13,000 located along the Big Blue River in the southeastern corner of the state, about 100 miles south of Omaha. He's in charge of a wastewater treatment facility that handles 1.2 million to 1.4 million gallons of water daily and has won eight wards for excellence in 25 years.
Last fall, Robbins decided that changes needed to be made in the sludge-processing area. Namely, he saw a dry-polymer makedown feed system that had been installed in 1981, took up 900 square feet of floor space and relied on cost-inefficient, often unsafe dry polymer to operate.
In his search for solutions, Robbins turned to Tony Bilek, a Partner in Omaha-based Mc2, Inc., a manufacturer’s representative for water and wastewater equipment.
“They had two big aging tanks, two big mixers, a day tank, two large metering pumps—it was just a big eyesore, it took up a lot of space and it was kind of dirty and cumbersome to work with,” said Bilek. “Jack asked what was out there, something more simple.”
Surveying the setup and acknowledging that the Beatrice plant’s daily throughput is considered “small” by wastewater-treatment standards and was therefore not a huge user of dry polymer, Bilek suggested a liquid system, namely dynaBLEND® liquid-polymer-blending technology, which was patented by Fluid Dynamics, a division of Neptune™ Chemical Pump Co., Inc., Lansdale, PA.
Blending liquid polymers for sludge processing can be a tricky business as the spectrum of available polymers has grown over the years. The dynaBLEND system simplifies that process since it has been designed to effectively activate all types of liquid polymer. On top of that, the dynaBLEND’s non-mechanical mixing chamber delivers an unequalled degree of reliability over many mechanical technologies. The system’s injection check valve has also been designed with easy disassembly and inspection in mind, eliminating a maintenance concern that troubles other systems.
“When I was looking over the dynaBLEND, I saw that it would eliminate the polymer mixing and we also wouldn’t need the tank for the sludge mixing, either,” said Robbins. “We also wouldn’t have to make the polymer anymore. When you were mixing polymer, the heat and humidity would cause problems and occasionally you’d get spillage, which is a safety hazard. We would remove all of those things by going to the dynaBLEND.”
The dynaBLEND also takes up much less floor space than the previous equipment. In addition, the system only uses one 55-gallon drum of liquid polymer—which is pumped directly into the dynaBLEND on an as-needed basis—every two months instead of the 400 to 500 pounds of dry polymer that had traditionally been used in the same period with the old system.
“We had been looking to do this, trying to find a new system and when we looked at the dynaBLEND we thought it would fit out every need and it has; it’s been great,” said Robbins, sounding very much like a man who would be clearing shelf space for another excellence award.
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