Home .Empowering Pumps DC Water project: Pumps for an ENRF system

DC Water project: Pumps for an ENRF system

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KSB Installing one of the Amacan P series pumps at Blue Plains
Installing one of the Amacan P series pumps at Blue Plains

Contributor: KSB 

DC Water’s $3.8 billion, 10-year capital investment program involved the construction of an ENRF system. KSB submersible motor pumps are central to the facility’s operation.

The project: Nitrogen removal with an ENRF system

Covering more than 150 acres and serving an area of 725 square miles, the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWTP) is located in Washington DC. The latest ENRF process expansion of Blue Plains has been designed to reduce nitrogen levels to the limit of technology prior to being discharged into the Potomac River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The goal of the project was to meet or exceed the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirement to reduce effluent nitrogen production to four million pounds per year.

Nitrogen removal at Blue Plains is a two-stage process that involves nitrifying secondary effluent within the existing 12 nitrification/denitrification reactors. Essentially complete denitrification occurs in the newly constructed ENRF tanks.

A key element of the new ENRF process was the addition of a new high-capacity pump station. The design specifications mandated 24/7 operation, with a planned life span of at least 20 years. The selected pumps had to be robust and have a high degree of reliability.

The client: DC Water

The Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWTP) in Washington DC is the largest advanced wastewater treatment plant in the world. Blue Plains has a design capacity to treat up to 370 million gallons every day, meeting the Metro-DC area’s wastewater and collection treatment needs. The treated effluent is discharged into the Potomac River, resulting in the plant having to meet some of the most stringent nitrogen standards in the world.

The challenge: Delivering pumps that comply with stringent EPA requirements

Azir Khan, KSB’s project engineer takes up the story. “We had to demonstrate to DC Water that we had pumps with a proven track record. To this end, we were able to point to similar facilities in other parts of the world where the recommended pumps had given trouble-free operation for many years. The pumps that we recommended are our Amacan P submersible impeller pumps and Amarex KRT pumps. These are the largest submersible impeller pumps produced by any manufacturer.”

Not only was KSB able to demonstrate the effectiveness of these pumps, they were the only company that could factory-test pumps in accordance with operating conditions. It was a very stringent set of criteria that KSB had to pass in order to be accepted by DC Water.

Having specified these high capacity pumps DC Water also realized additional benefits from working with KSB, which included alternative configurations. Optimizing the configuration resulted in considerable power savings, as much as $200,000, in operating costs that could be achieved every year. KSB also had the engineering resources to assist engineers in optimizing the design of the pump station.

By reducing the number of pumps, the overall pump station footprint could also be reduced. Furthermore, extensive hydraulic calculations were performed to develop a pump curve required at various speeds.

The solution: Optimized Amacan P and Amarex KRT pumps

KSB went to great lengths to demonstrate the capabilities of its pump technologies and understanding of the project.

“The pumps were optimized specifically for the project, using motors that were identified as being the most suitable and the hydraulics exactly matched the requirements of the project. The Amacan P and Amarex KRT pumps run at their optimum performance point at the peak flow, which is highly important both for the project and the longevity of the pumps,” continues Azir Khan.

KSB Amacan P and Amarex KRT pumps are true work horses for the wastewater treatment and water supply sectors and are to be found operating in many applications around the world where the most challenging water industry applications must be satisfied. At Blue Plains AWTP seven Amacan P pumps are located at various locations (Fig.1)in the denitrification return sludge gallery sumps and are used for pumping drainage, wash down and potentially sludge and chemicals if a pipe breaks. Four submersible Amarex KRT pumps are located at two dewatering pump stations in the denitrification return sludge gallery and are used for liquor pumping groundwater, pump/floor wash down drainage and wet weather run-off duties.

In the Alternate Carbon Building, two submersible Amarex KRT pumps are used for sump pumping eye wash station drainage, laboratory sink drainage, pump/floor wash down drainage and potentially carbon chemicals if a pipe or pump leaks. Portable submersible Amarex units have also been supplied and can be moved to various locations in the denitrification reactors and post-aeration tanks, their purpose being to handle mixed liquor. Their primary function is to dewater the denitrification reactors and post-aeration tanks if they are taken out of service.

The Amacan P series submersible motor denitrification pumps supplied to DC Water are typically used around the world for industrial and agricultural water supply, stormwater and flood prevention stations and the water and wastewater treatment industries. It is a close-coupled, wet-installed single-entry axial impeller pump where the propeller is in a tubular casing immersed in the water. Each of the pumps has a maximum flow capacity of up to 179 mgd and a maximum head of 12m and together they deliver a total of 895 mgd. Low vibration hydraulics and a vortex-free flow due to the inlet ribs and wide bellmouth ensure that the pump is hydraulically optimized. Operating efficiency is provided by the slim motor that minimizes discharge tube flow losses.

The Amarex KRT is a safe, reliable and energy-efficient solution for a wide range of pumping jobs in industrial and municipal wastewater processes (Fig 2). In order to provide maximum versatility/flexibility for applications, KSB offers this pump in a wide range of materials. A range of specially adapted hydraulic systems with high operational reliability, due to wide free passages, make for optimum economic transport of all types of liquids. The Amarex KRT submersible pumps are used for raw sewage pumping and on treatment plants. Unlike the water supply pumps, the pumps used in the handing of untreated and treated effluent have to operate all day long, which places them under a considerable workload.

“We were pre-selected for the project following a competitive procurement process,” reports Azir Kahn. “KSB has been able to equip Blue Plains with the most appropriate pumping technology designed to ensure reliable and long working life and enable our customer to benefit from reduced capital construction costs and lower yearly operating expenses.”

KSB Amarex KRT pump ready for factory testing
KSB Amarex KRT pump ready for factory testing

Data I Facts I Figures

Location Waste water treatment plant Blue Plains, Washington DC
Customer DC Water
Application Waste water treatment
Pumps for an ENRF system
Specific features Reduced capital construction costs and lower yearly operating expenses due to optimized pumps
24/7 operation
Robust pumps with high reliability
Life span of minimum 20 years
Scope of supply Technical data
7 Amacan P Capacity: 179 mgd (million gallons / day)
678 mld (million liter / day)
Head: 12 m
High efficiency due to specially wounded motors and optimized pitch angles of the impellers
4 Amarex KRT Capacity: up to 10.100 m³/ h
Head: up to 120 m
permanently installed
Numerous Amarex KRT Capacity: up to 10.100 m³/ h
Head: up to 120 m
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