Case Study: These Minnesota Monsters Help Cut Costs at Local Treatment Plant

Troy Heimerl (left) of equipment integrator Electric Pump shown with operators, mechanics and managers of the Hutchinson Wastewater Treatment Facility. (credit: Paul Cockrell)

In the beautiful town of Hutchinson, Minnesota operators at the wastewater treatment facility have called upon four Monsters in recent years to tame a rising tide of trash and rags entering their plant.

In 2005 plant officials tackled a problem area at the influent pump station where twin, 20-year-old bar screens were in need of constant maintenance. “Maintenance alone on those bar screens was huge,” said Troy Heimerl of Electric Pump a local systems integrator called in to look for solutions. “It was kind of sloppy and the lift station was next to a baseball park so there were occasional odors from the screenings.”

In 2006 the City and their consulting engineer researched and heard good things about Channel Monster grinders, and based on the recommendations replaced the bar screens with two Channel Monsters from JWC Environmental of Costa Mesa, California. The twin high-flow grinders shred rags, trash, clothing and leaves into small ¼” (6mm) pieces according to Mike Mies, Maintenance Supervisor for the treatment plant.

The small particles flow easily through four, 150-HP (110-kW) influent pumps and with the Channel Monsters the “pumps never clog” according to Mike. Screenings are sent to the treatment plant instead of getting screened out inside the station, so the baseball field is always a pleasant place to play.

Eric Meester, PE, a consulting engineer on the project based at Donohue and Associates’ Minneapolis office, said he carefully researched grinders and decided they’re a clean, low maintenance way to protect pumps.

For their work on the Hutchinson facility, Donohue won a prestigious Engineering Excellence Grand Award from ACEC Minnesota earlier this year.

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