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5 Suggestions to Handle and Prevent Equipment Breakdown in Sewage treatment plants

How to handle and prevent Equipment from Breakdown?


One of the significant drawbacks of conventional sewage treatment is the equipment used as most conventional treatment plants are designed to use a number of equipment like blowers, pumps, clarifier mechanisms etc. As a result, it becomes complex to maintain the plant. Blowers, pumps, motors will break down if it is not maintained regularly. Also, it is not the Equipment breakdown that is the major problem, but the plant getting stopped as a result.


In this video, I am going to share FIVE suggestions to handle and prevent Equipment Breakdown.


1st Suggestion: Have a spare for all the types and pieces of equipment


Conventional treatment plants design with multiple tanks are required for the particular process which needs pumps to pump from one tank to the other. If any one of the equipment breakdown the plant has to shut down. It is at the mercy of the mechanic to get it repaired. Until the equipment is ready, handling sewage is a nightmare. Either it has to let into the drainage if there is one or into a rainwater storm; the PCB does not allow this in most places. It is causing unnecessary trouble for the public. So it is always best to have a spare pump/blowers for individual equipment.


2nd Suggestion: Maintainance of the equipment


The Operator schedules and prevent breakdown by inspecting and maintaining the equipment. There are mechanics and technicians available in some STP’s, but in some plants, they are not there. It is always a good practice to have a board, write down the numbers of the Mechanics and Technicians. Nowadays, there are software’s based on IoT even to monitor the performance of the equipment and warn well ahead if it is going to break down.


3rd Suggestion: Planning and designing well ahead of construction


We have come across builders who had designed and constructed the STP without consulting the STP consultants. The problems faced was inadequate space, and there was no natural flow.  As STP is a biological process, we need some retention time for the process to happen. Also, we construct the STP at the lowest point so that sewage flows naturally, avoiding raw sewage pumps.


4th Suggestion: Design and process of the plant


Most conventional treatment plants require multiple pieces of equipment and Membrane filters. It is always a belief that anything is complex; it works. Suppose the biological process of the plant is designed well and maintained, the treated water can flow through gravity from one tank to another, which helps to avoid multiple tanks and equipment. If the biological process happens ideally, we can treat it without membrane filters. We can use membrane filters just to make the water potable.


5th Suggestion: Construct for a Long term, not for short term


We have come across sewage treatment plants where the performance was good for the first few years. Then gradually, the plant starts to fail. The plant must be designed in such a way that it has to handle the maximum flow. It can be an industry, site or apartment; the sewage treatment should be prepared to take at least 5 to 10 years of the anticipated population. Otherwise, an increase in flow or failure in a plant, revamping, or remodel must be done to set right the plant.



Editor in Chief

Arun Karunakaran



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