Harper International Article: Under Budget, On Time: Package Pump Stations
Control strategies for water and wastewater systems require installation of a water pumping station, but the biggest decision is really whether to build custom package pump stations or purchase a packaged pump station – a customized prefabricated equipment package – assembled and tested before being installed on-site.
Traditionally, most systems are custom installations, which can require months of lead time and extensive coordination between engineers, contractors, mechanics, electricians, parts suppliers and more. It is not unusual to take more time than estimated due to quality control issues and coordination of parts/pieces.
But what if you can’t afford time overruns, or if conditions prohibit extensive on-site construction? Chris Clark, the Operations Manager for the Mohegan Tribal Utility Authority, knows first-hand about those issues: “We’re located in the northeast in a resort district with a gaming facility that was undergoing a billion dollar expansion project in 2000 and 2001. With over six million square feet, including a 1200 room hotel, 300,000 square feet of retail area and over 500,000 square feet of gaming space, we had to plan for huge demands on local systems and for the reservation itself.”
Because of the rapid pace of the development, conventional design, contract procurement and construction timelines were shortened. This put utilities at disadvantage, because by the time their water delivery program was fully developed, the construction was well underway. So, late in project, there was a severe limitation in time between the specification and installation. “With winter on the way, we decided to go with pre-manufactured equipment,” says Chris. “The project engineer recommended EFI for a top quality pre-manufactured station and Fred Haines of Harper – who had been working with me on some valve issues – jumped in and assisted throughout the project.”
Unlike those of 30 years ago, package pump stations can be engineered specifically for the application and offer quality control, single source responsibility and other cost-effective advantages. Components can be matched to the job requirements, budget, and the technical abilities of the staff. The whole process is basically the same as for a custom pump station, except it is not built on-site, it is delivered to the site. Startup requires only one to two people a few days, with very few pieces fitted on-site. From delivery of the finished product, start-up and operator instruction, to technical and service help throughout the warranty period – you deal with one company and its specialized support staff.
“It was pretty much seamless and we are extremely pleased with the result.” says Chris. “It’s a great design and the craftsmanship of the finished product is obviously superior to the cast-in-place systems we have used. EFI delivered the system on time and were very helpful with anything we needed. But the most impressive part of it was in the programming of the PLC. At first the system didn’t respond as we had expected, and Fred Haines was extremely responsive to our concerns. He came down and took a look at it, he brought EFI into the conversation, and took the time to communicate our concerns. Within two weeks we had a completely reprogrammed PLC. We ran it through the tests we had previously done and it was perfect.
“We got the attention we needed to fine-tune the equipment to optimal performance standards and they understood our time constraints and worked with us to meet them. I’ve started a lot of equipment, there are always bugs and problems and people are usually looking to duck out of the picture and pass the buck. But we never experienced that with EFI and Harper and I greatly appreciate and recognize when somebody stands up, like they did, to get the problem taken care of.”
There are advantages to specifying package pump stations and although they are not appropriate for every project, they are often a great option:
The system can be designed to meet nearly any set of challenges that would be difficult (if not impossible) to address if the system were built on-site. For example, building an integrated system where every piece and each pipe is epoxy coated.
Components can be matched to your job requirements, your budget, and the technical abilities of your staff.
The structures tend to last a long, long time (often 50+ years) because the manufacturer, after having repeated the design/build/install process thousands of times, is uniquely qualified to know which materials and construction techniques will lower the incidence of future problems and the cost of long-term maintenance.
They can pump from as little as 25 gallons per minute to as much as 25 million gallons per day.
Design, construction and testing are monitored in a controlled environment where problems can be addressed well before installation and startup, and the construction process is not hindered by inclement weather or other on-site delays.
The system is delivered – finished – to the site and startup requires only one to two people and a few days with very few pieces having to be fitted on-site.
The warranty covers the entire system and from delivery of the finished product, start-up and operator instruction, to technical and service help throughout the warranty period – you deal with one company and their specialized support staff.
Give us a call to discuss your pump station needs and we’ll be happy to help with both custom and package pump station installations and can assist you with the best system for cost-effective and time-saving solutions ensuring long life and reduced maintenance costs.
To find out more, contact a Harper representative.
Harper Haines Fluid Control, Inc.
125 Old Gate Lane, Milford, CT 06460
Telephone: 203.693.3740 * Fax: 203.547.6092
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