Case Study

How One Company Created An Easy, Affordable Way To Stop Wipes From Damaging Sewers And Pumping Stations

Source: Aqualitec Corp.

Unprecedented Times

Toilet paper. The most essential product necessary to life besides food and water. Also cited as the first item to run out at supermarkets during an emergency. For those who live in disaster-prone areas, keeping a stockpile is normal. But for everyone else, a few extra rolls of toilet paper is just a routine part of a grocery trip. So what happened when families everywhere panic bought toilet paper to get through an extended lockdown?

They got creative. After running out of toilet paper, they started to use and flush anything absorbent to get the job done. Wipes, paper towels, rags, and tissues were all assumed to be adequate substitutes when necessary—and despite the misleading label, wipes do not dissolve after flushing. This led to many US cities experiencing costly issues with clogged pump stations.

Unprecedented Problems

Sanitary sewer overflows increased drastically all over the US due to the sudden increase in unsuitable materials being flushed. In some cases an astounding 30,000 extra pounds of wipes were recorded in this year’s first quarter. Campaigns such as New York’s “Trash it. Don’t Flush It” program helped to create public awareness about flushing the unflushable, with many cities and states following their example. Although clogging is not a new issue for the industry, cases increased dramatically during this critical time.

With the rise in access to PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) products, it’s not uncommon for a single household to go through several boxes of disposable masks and gloves every month. But many Coronavirus-weary residents are flushing their masks and gloves instead of throwing them in the trash out of a perceived sense of reducing risk of infection.

All these factors have resulted in not only damaged equipment but a sharp increase in maintenance costs. Cities that are used to routine maintenance once a month now find themselves needing to fix clog issues twice a week, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars more in maintenance costs. 

Sensible Solutions

A more affordable and effective solution is Aqualitec’s innovative vertical bar screen: Screentec. This state-of-the-art equipment has allowed customers to save an average of $500,000 a year in pump maintenance fees. This equipment has been successfully used in many locations across the USA over the last 10 years

Designed for headworks, pump stations, lift stations, wet wells, and manholes, the Screentec bar is designed to protect pumps from anything that isn’t toilet paper. Unwanted waste such as rags, wipes, plastics, and other solids are no match for the Screentec stainless steel bars. By preventing clogged pumps, the Screentec bar also extends the pump life cycle while also improving the quality of wastewater treatment.

Aqualitec Director Erwan Ouattara stands behind his product’s guarantee, assuring that “with over 30 years of experience installing more than 1,500 Screentec units worldwide, we will help you avoid costly pump damage without any big structural change thanks to our unique retrofitting design. Best of all, our bar screens require minimal maintenance, dropping maintenance costs as low as $800 over 8 years in some cases.” He adds that another benefit is that “Screentec will also help communities to lower taxpayer costs while increasing operator’s safety.”

Besides its signature vertical bar screen, Aqualitec also offers various wastewater screening solutions such as multiple rake bar screens, drum screens, spiral screens, a grit classifier as well as a washer compactor.

To find out how Aqualitec can help you keep your pumps safe and save big on maintenance costs, call 855-650-2214 or visit