Over the years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has offered voluntary partnership programs to address a wide variety of environmental issues by working collaboratively with companies, organizations, and communities. There are now more than 13,000 firms and other organizations participating in EPA Partnership Programs according to the EPA website. One of the more highly recognized EPA programs is WaterSense. Launched in 2006, this is a partnership to save water and protect the future of our nation’s water supply by implementing water efficient products, services, and practices as specified by the EPA guidelines.
Many local water utilities have joined the WaterSense partnership as a way to promote high water standards throughout their communities. There are only a select few water plants that are able to achieve the partnership program’s highest level of standard, Level 4. The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA), which operates the Jones Ferry Water Plant in Carrboro, North Carolina is one utility company that is on the cusp of obtaining such a distinction. The Level 4 standard is based on many factors associated with providing the cleanest water in the most efficient manner. One of these factors is the measurement of turbidity in the treated water. The Jones Ferry Water Plant is faced with a unique problem in this part of the country with well water. The natural occurrence of high levels of Oxide Iron and Magnesium creates a yellowing effect within the water. This effect is reflected on the turbidity readings as dirty water. OWASA’s’s objective is to eliminate the yellowish color by adding and maintaining the precise amount of potassium permanganate.
The Jones Ferry Water Plant has been using a diaphragm pump for the potassium permanganate dosing for the past several years. The recent technical advancements of peristaltic pumps have proven to provide a more consistent flow rate than a diaphragm pump with less maintenance for chemical feed applications. Within the last two years, the plant has converted most of the chemical feed applications to the Blue-White “Flex-Pro” A3V peristaltic pump replacing the existing diaphragm pumps. The “Flex-Pro” A3V peristaltic pumps have been installed in three critical injection stages: low pressure sodium hypochlorite, high pressure sodium hypochlorite, and low pressure fluoride. The results have been outstanding; delivering accurate and constant flow rates with virtually no downtime. The “Flex-Pro “A3 tube life on the fluoride injection is lasting 9500, running 24/7 at less than 15 PSI. The A3 tube life on the sodium hypochlorite flash mixer consisting of ten pumps is lasting 7000 – 7500 hours, running 24/7 at less than 15 PSI. The A3 tube life on the sodium hypochlorite post mixer is lasting 1500 -1700 hours, running 24/7 at a pressure of 80 PSI.
The decision was made by the Jones Ferry plant manager to switch out the existing diaphragm pump on the potassium permanganate feed to a peristaltic pump. However, the feed rate of 84 GPH greatly exceeded the feed rates of the “Flex-Pro” A3. As a result, two other competing peristaltic pump companies offered to test their higher output pumps in the application. After just eight days of testing, the tubes failed on both the competing peristaltic pumps, running 24/7 at less than 15 PSI, pumping 84 GPH. Meanwhile, Blue-White Industries prepared for their introduction of the “Flex-Pro” A4 higher output peristaltic pump.
Upon the availability of the new “Flex-Pro” A4, the testing began on June 1 in the aforementioned application pumping potassium permanganate. The new A4 peristaltic pump continues to pump with the same tube more than three months after the initial start. It appears that the “Flex-Pro” A4 peristaltic pump is indeed emulating the success of the A3 pump. Under similar pressures, the A3 pump has lasted as long as 9500 hours with the same tube. The key differences between the “Flex-Pro” model and other competing models are the roller assembly and the tube specifications. The “Flex-Pro” models offer a four roller assembly, two guide rollers, and two squeeze rollers. Other manufacturers offer a three roller assembly. Each tube used with the “Flex-Pro” is made in accordance to Blue-White’s rigid specifications. These are advantageous features that effect tube wear, as demonstrated in this application. The “Flex-Pro” A4 model offers the same outstanding benefits as the A3 model with the exception of the output capability. While the A3 pump is limited to 33 GPH, the A4 pump has a range of up to 158 GPH. Both pumps are rated at 125 PSI and have a motor speed adjustment range of 2500:1. Other significant similar features of the Flex-Pro models are: NEMA 4X enclosure (IP66), 30 feet of maximum suction lift, continuous duty cycle, SCADA Inputs, non maintenance brushless motor, Tube Failure Detection (TFD) system, and the ability to inject at maximum pressure in either direction (clockwise or counter clockwise). To learn more on the features and benefits of the “Flex-Pro” models, please visit blue-white.com.
The use of Blue-White Industries “Flex-Pro” peristaltic pumps at the Jones Ferry Water Plant has greatly contributed to the enhancement of the water quality due to their reliability and consistency of delivering the vital water treatment chemicals. This increased efficiency is a key attribute to the EPA’s partnership program, WaterSense. The future of our water supply will be better managed with coordinated efforts of companies and organizations such as Blue-White Industries and the Orange Water and Sewer Authority. For more information on WaterSense please visit alliancefor waterefficiency.org.