Breakdowns Hinder Wastewater Operations in the City of Fitchburg
The City of Fitchburg, Massachusetts was having problems with their new wastewater grinders purchased from a well known manufacturer. “The grinders were nothing but constant trouble right from the start,” said Ken Letourneau from the City of Fitchburg WWTP. They failed routinely. Debris getting stuck between the single tooth cutters was one source of constant breakdowns. Another major problem was that the grinders did not have bottom bearings, causing the rotating shafts to blow out the bottom of the machines and wear away quickly. “They were total junk that caused a lot of downtime,” Letourneau said.
Letourneau began to research replacement grinders and turned to Franklin Miller for a better design. “We were excited about the
benefits of CUTTER CARTRIDGE® technology, and had also heard nothing but good things about the robustness of the machines, which is exactly what we were looking for.” With CUTTER CARTRIDGE technology, every 6 cutters and 6 spacers are combined into one-piece elements. This markedly increases unit strength and eliminates many parts from the unit, simplifying maintenance.
“We were originally using these machines for galley sludge hauling. We have stopped that service now, and are using these grinders solely for wastewater processing, especially rags and wipes,” Letourneau said.
“Many wastewater treatment plants have been battling ragging and wipes with very little success. Thanks to our set up here, it’s really no problem for us. We have had no downtime at all. Day to day, the grinders have been extremely reliable. At this point, we basically expect nothing outside of routine maintenance and an annual inspection.”
Wipes have become a big issue for the city overall. The screens at the headworks help with some of the wipes, but not all. “The grinders handle all the wipes at that point quite well. We never have ragging or clumping problems at the grinder, which we are very grateful for."
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