Modern urban wastewater treatment plant.

Sludge Pumping & Addressing Head Loss Issues

Waste management, be it commercial, industrial or residential, has its challenges. But, the most demanding of these is treating and managing sludge. And, in most cases, it is this failure to manage sludge properly that has resulted in inefficient pumping systems. The problem, however, is not only intrinsic but also banks heavily on underestimating the pumping performance issues that poor sludge performance can cause. It, therefore, is imperative that you always work with specialised sludge pump suppliers to help you find a pump that will manage sludge appropriately.

With such a pump supplier, together, you also will design a suitable pump and piping system that will pump the sludge effectively while reducing head-loss issues. But, why is sludge transportation such a critical problem in most wastewater pumping and treatment applications?

The challenge

The main problem with managing sludge stems from sludge being viscously non-constant. Since that makes sludge among non-Newtonian fluids, it means that its viscosity varies with time and the applied stress. But, that is only when the sludge is in a tranquil state. Therefore, for the sludge to flow, you will require shaking, agitating or exerting external pressure to it. However, the degree for which you will apply these elements will depend on the type and viscosity of the sludge that you are handling.

So, right before you settle for sludge pumps engage a pump specialist to help you first to examine the unique characteristics of the sludge you treat. With these details, you can design wastewater transportation systems that will reduce head loss issues from poor sludge management.

underwater sewer pipe in coral reef

Other limiting factors to efficient sludge management

Most sludge will contain rags, fibres and other large solids, as well as grit. These are potential abrasive and clogging matter, which, if you do not manage them appropriately, will destroy parts of the pump and reduce pumping efficiency. That way, it becomes easier to handle the sludge as one component unlike when it is non-homogenous. How efficient this blending will be will vary with sludge properties. Typically, these features include the length of the fibres and the shape and size of the solids. Also, the electrical charge, granularity, temperature and pH-value of the fluids will affect how efficient will be your sludge management.

Therefore, whenever you are choosing sludge pumping solutions, consider these characteristics of sludge that you intend to manage. Most sludge pump suppliers have the expertise to evaluate these sludge properties. So, first, inquire from your pump supplier about these services to find an appropriate wastewater management pump.

Sludge management is costly. But, that can scale up pretty fast if you are using the wrong wastewater management techniques. You will require pumps that will manage the sludge appropriately throughout the pump’s useful life. Well, yes, the collected sludge volume will also impact the handling, transportation and management costs. But, using the right pump can help you even to minimise water content in sludge. You further can intensify this separation to reduce head loss problems by using chemical treatment methods. But, if the pump can handle all that without requiring external input, you will minimize sludge management costs.