The water and wastewater industries have strict regulations regarding asset inspection and reporting. These must be carried out by those with the relevant qualifications and include inspections of new installations and those carried out at regular intervals. Such inspections ensure that the asset/s are fit for purpose and should also monitor important areas, such as seals, packaging and coatings that naturally degrade over time.
Some examples of where specialist water asset inspections are necessary to include:
- Water plants, both for drinking water and wastewater
- Chemical dosing tanks
- Submersible pump stations
- Sewage plants
- Water tanks and towers
- Reservoir tanks
- Swimming pools
What Does a Water Asset Inspection Involve?
Water asset inspections consist of a comprehensive overview of facilities and/or an asset’s condition of all the water-related elements. This includes pumps, rotating equipment and other areas, with the inspection results being collated into a comprehensive report. It’s usual for all areas to be given a grade from 1 to 5 that details the condition, allowing for an overview of where the most urgent maintenance work is needed. This also provides a reference point for future inspections, making it easy to see where elements have degraded the most.
The Importance of Ongoing Maintenance & Extending Water Asset Lifespan
Corrosion and leakage are the biggest enemies of all water assets, and an inefficient operation increases operational costs and is detrimental to safety. Such issues can cause public health emergencies and have legal implications in severe cases.
While many elements that makeup assets have a finite lifespan, there are many ways that those responsible for maintenance can dramatically reduce the speed at which they do so. Two of the most important of these are:
- Pump Sealing Solutions
- Protective coatings
Pump Sealing Solutions & Protective Coatings
The importance of mechanical seals and/or packing and gaskets can’t be over-stated. While they might only represent a small amount of the total cost of the overall cost of a pump (typically 2-5%), it’s estimated that their failures cause a massive 70%-80% of unplanned pump downtime.
However, making some strategic changes to how maintenance teams approach sealing solutions can dramatically affect longevity and day-to-day operation. Get this right – and combine it with strategically designed protective coatings – and drastic improvements can be enjoyed. These include:
- Increased equipment reliability
- Optimising energy consumption
- Wear reduction and control of metal and concrete surfaces
- Increased MTBF
- Less asset downtime – both planned and unplanned
Examples of how careful selection of advanced sealing solutions has benefitted include a sewage plant that fitted advanced split seals and Spiraltrac to prevent wastewater solids from increasing sleeve wear and leakage. This proactive approach increased effective pump sealing to >9 years.
Another plant wanted to reduce pump leakage and water consumption. Switching from traditional packing to a split seal with an environmental controller and flow meters reduced water flush usage by 90%. Discover more Water & Wastewater sealing solutions.
When it comes to protective coatings, none are more advanced than the cutting-edge range offered by ARC Coatings. Both drinking water and wastewater assets benefit from state-of-the-art solutions that guard against corrosion, including sludge and/or abrasive slurry.
Success stories include a 10-year-old sewage pump that had lost over 64% efficiency. Adding ARC coatings brought the pump back to 84% of its former operational ability, saving nearly $60K in a single year. Another saw a plant’s four corroded water pumps restored to a virtually new condition in less than three weeks, resulting in operational savings of $126K.
These are just a few examples of how embracing the latest technologies and discovering advanced configurations can revolutionise maintenance programmes and water asset performance. As operational costs continue to rise, companies can’t afford to not look at improving efficiency and saving money. State-of-the-art sealing solutions and protective coatings are simple yet highly effective methods.
Ready to find out more? Download the free eBook How to Save Energy, Money and Maintenance Using Advanced Sealing Technology (Water & Wastewater Plants) to find out more.
This article was featured in Utility Magazine.