RAD-AX®: Overcoming Wastewater Clogging Issues

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The proliferation of handy wipes, baby wipes, and other high-tensile strength fibrous materials that are marketed as “flushable” have caused major problems for wastewater treatment plants nationwide. As consumers continue to flush these materials, wastewater treatment plants must continue dealing with the clogging problems being created downstream. 

While larger pumps operating in the wastewater plants may be more capable to pass these fibrous materials due to the simple nature of their suction and volute passage sizes, there are smaller pumps operating in the wastewater sump pits like sampling pumps that handle the raw, unscreened sewage but are frequently unable to process these solids. For example, in a traditional non-clog pump, the material would ball up in the eye of the impeller and clog the pump. Though larger shredder pumps typically do a good job of tearing up fibrous materials, it is the smaller horsepower pumps, such as 5 HP and smaller, where even shredder pumps can have problems passing these kinds of materials. This is an area where specialty pump manufacturers, such as BJM Pumps, have found their niche.  

The BJM Pumps 5, 3, and 2-horsepower submersible pumps specifically designed to handle high-tensile strength fibrous materials. The SKG “RAD-AX” line of pumps are a hybrid design that combines the best solids handling features of a non-clog shredder with the macerating capabilities of a grinder pump. Both axial and radial cutting elements are incorporated in the patent pending design. When a fibrous piece comes into the suction of the pump, it becomes engaged with the cutting mechanism both vertically and horizontally while large hard solids kick away from the suction after a small portion is nibbled away.  When the material comes out on the other side, it has been turned into a pulp that passes easily through the pump. Having the options to install smaller specialty pumps is critical for wastewater operators when they have to size their pumps appropriately, taking into consideration energy usage, piping issues, and system design. 

Not only is it important to work with a reputable distributor or directly with a responsive pump manufacturer, it is critical for wastewater operators to realize they have options. With so many consolidations of OEMs into larger organizations, it is crucial for small- and medium-sized companies, like BJM Pumps, to continue to provide the marketplace with specialized pumping equipment that helps pump users solve their day-to-day challenges.