by Miaja Cornelius
Blowouts aren’t just costly due to lost productivity and extensive cleanup; they often carry substantial health risks and safety concerns from spilled material and environmental conditions.
This was certainly the case with the Upper Occoquan Sewage Authority (UOSA). The wastewater treatment plant handles upwards of 30 million gallons per day and provides potable water to more than 300,000 people in portions of Fairfax and Prince William counties in northern Virginia. Its chemical treatment system relies on a non-stop supply of pebble lime for raising the pH to levels where bacteria and phosphorous can be efficiently removed.
When failed elbows spilled dry pebble lime at its Centreville, Va., facility, Robert Forgone was faced with dangerous air quality levels and the very real risk of slip-and-fall for personnel at the facility. The abrasive powder was strewn far and wide, pouring out from a 1/2″ hole in the high-pressure conveyor line.
Forgione, director of the UOSA operations and maintenance division, knew he had to fix the situation quickly — and prevent it from happening again. Elbows from other manufacturers were consistently failing. Dust from the abrasive powder was negatively affecting air quality inside the plant following blowouts, and the resultant lost productivity from line shutdowns was costly.
The HammerTek® Smart Elbow® deflection elbow proved to be just the solution Forgone was seeking. Installed at other wastewater treatment facilities to address the same issue OUSA was experiencing, the Smart Elbow showed virtually no wear more than a year after installation.
HammerTek® and Cathey Prosolutions of Sykesville, Md., worked closely with Forgone and his team to identify the best solution to the problems UOSA was experiencing. Five 45-degree , 4-inch elbows and nine 90-degree, 4-inch HammerLoy™ Series Smart Elbow models were installed. The HammerLoy Series line is specifically designed to withstand high-wear abrasive environments.
The results are telling: more than four years after installation, UOSA hasn’t had one blowout.
“With the Smart Elbow product, we’ve eliminated the primary source of lime dust along with the hazardous conditions it creates,” Forgione said.
He added, “Our experience with HammerTek has been excellent. Delivery was fast, and our mechanics were able to install it pretty quickly without any complaints. If we ever get wear in an elbow anywhere in the plant, we’ll replace it with the Smart Elbow deflection elbow.” Click here to read the full case study.