After meeting at the Craft Brewers Conference, a successful brewery collaborated with ClearBlu Environmental, a full-service design-build firm that specializes in applying sustainable technologies to process wastewater treatment and reclamation. Since their business was growing rapidly, the brewery wanted to expand its operations in Blanco, Texas. Instead of working with separate engineering and construction companies, the brewery hired ClearBlu Environmental because they had the ability to design and build the entire system from end to end, implementing custom solutions to meet their specific needs.
An efficient treatment system was required to process the wastewater generated by the brewery. ClearBlu Environmental designed the pretreatment system, which included screening, settling, and ph balancing, as well as the pond design, aeration system, bacterial treatment, and final-stage flow monitoring. It was determined that three lift stations would need to be installed, with two pumps to operate in each lift station. Robert Bixby, President of ClearBlu Environmental, considered three main challenges before selecting submersible pumps for the primary lift station:
Acidic Wastewater – with a PH of 4, the brewery’s wastewater was highly acidic. The majority of submersible pumps are made from cast iron material, which would not last in a highly acidic environment.
High Temperature – the brewery’s wastewater was consistently over 140 degrees Fahrenheit; most submersible pumps cannot withstand pumping liquids at temperatures higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Effective Handling of Solids – as with any brewery or winery, the wastewater contains solids that could potentially erode pump components or clog the pumps, thereby reducing pump reliability and risking operational delays.
Bixby selected two BJM Model SX22CSS-F submersible pumps to be installed in a duplex arrangement within the cylindrical fiberglass primary lift station. “You need reliable pumps, especially in a primary lift station where you have issues with solids, settling, acidity, and temperature – it was well worth it to use special pumps from BJM,” explains Bixby.
The BJM Model SX22CSS-F submersible pumps were the best solution for handling the brewery’s wastewater for the following reasons: Manufactured from durable 316 Stainless Steel, these submersible pumps are designed to operate in highly acidic and corrosive environments. The SXF Series pumps are engineered to pump hot liquids up to temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The SX22CSS-F pumps utilize non-clog, single vane impellers designed to pass solids while delivering a high volume of liquid and optimal lift performance. Designed to be wear-resistant, all parts exposed to the hot pumped liquids are made of 316 Stainless Steel, including all wear and “wet” parts such as impeller, wear-plate, oil housing, pump housing and inner pump top.
Engineered for reliability, BJM provides “Three Seal Motor Protection”. Double mechanical seals protect the motor; the lower seal is made of silicon carbide/silicon carbide and the upper seal is made of carbon/ceramic. An additional lip seal is installed above the impeller to help prevent abrasives from entering the seal chamber. For additional motor protection, these pumps utilize winding protection and (NEMA) Class R motor insulation with a thermal cut-out switch that allows the stator to have a winding temperature of up to 300 degrees F (150 C), which is superior to pumps with Class A and B insulation.
Since their installation in June 2013, the BJM submersible pumps have performed reliably, operating at 460 volts and pumping up to 200 gallons per minute. Flow control within the system helps regulate the amount of brewery wastewater that travels to the small town’s wastewater treatment plant, ensuring the flow is spread out evenly over a 24-hour period. The lift stations have been kept clear of settled solids and have not overflowed due to the BJM pumps’ reliable performance.