Equipment failure could cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace – Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN – Two filter presses used in the water softening treatment process experienced major breakdowns last week that could cost the city of Jamestown a significant amount of money to repair or replace the equipment.

Joseph Rowell, Superintendent of Water, told Jamestown City Council on Tuesday, July 5 that the two filter presses are 29 years old and inoperable after experiencing the same failures with the hydraulics. He said parts to repair current filter presses are pretty much outdated and could take up to 22 to 24 weeks to be received.

“The parts I find are very expensive,” he said.

A rough estimate for spare parts for each press is over $134,600 and does not include labor, installation or shipping, Rowell said. He said a Michigan company would have to come and replace the parts and would cost about $120 per hour for travel expenses and $1,450 per day, which are rough estimates.

“How long it will take to facilitate or install, I don’t know,” he said.

Rowell said the town of Jamestown uses well water, which is relatively hard and needs to be softened. He said lime – the main treatment component to soften water – is added as a softening agent and helps extract iron and manganese from water to reduce calcium and total water hardness.

During the water softening treatment process, the treatment plant ends up with a lot of lime sludge which is sent to the lime press room for disposal. Filter presses extract water from the sludge itself and leave the particles behind, he said.

He said the lime putty is usually sent to the press room and sits in holding tanks where it is separated and pumped into the presses.

“Right now we can’t do that right now, so we have to bypass this whole process,” Rowell said. “All the waste, we have three lagoons that hold it. We need to redirect that to those ponds.

Councilman David Steele said putting all the lime in the ponds influences the water softening treatment process as the water has to be pumped from lagoons south of the city water plant .

“It puts more pressure on them,” he said. “It’s all a domino effect of bad things happening for the city with infrastructure.”

With replacement parts topping $134,600 per filter press, another option might be to buy and install new ones, Rowell said. He said a new filter press costs about $225,000, which doesn’t include labor, installation or shipping, and the city would receive it in about 22 to 24 weeks.

Each filter press has a drive unit that facilitates and pumps the hydraulics.

“Essentially what we should be doing is changing that whole part of the system,” Rowell said. “To do this, we discover that almost all the spare parts, except for the pumps, are obsolete.”

The hydraulic ram costs about $80,000 to replace on each press, he said. He said the press plates had already been replaced on one filter press and could be retrofitted to another to save money.

“Plates cost about $40,000 to $50,000 for a new plate so we can save that on a single press,” he said.

Another issue with changing presses is that access to the building is necessary and requires the removal of a wall from the treatment plant.

“The plant was designed to be able to do that knowing that so many years from now you would be changing those presses,” Rowell said. “It would be an additional expense.”

Because both presses are inoperable, Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said it’s important to keep the lagoons free of limescale.

Rowell said normally about 25% of his process reaches the lagoons south of the water treatment plant. He said the city has a dredge pump that takes all the particles sent to the lagoons back to the water treatment plant for processing.

“Right now we won’t be able to do that because we don’t have the presses, so it will keep filling up,” he said. “At some point, if it takes too long, we may have to consider dragging him up and transporting him.”

Right now, Rowell said he was trying to fix one of the hydraulic jacks.

“Even if we had one rebuilt, that doesn’t mean we don’t need a new one down the line,” he said. “Perhaps it would be enough to have at least one operational press and we would be able to carry on like this. It’s possible I could get one of these presses by the end of the week to take some of that pressure off and buy us some time to get to the January date for replacing the presses or repairing the presses.

Rowell said the replacement or repair of the filter presses will likely be done in early 2023.

He said the water plant operated with only the lagoons until 1992.

“They just managed the lagoons and kept the humidity off some,” he said. “They were dredging this and hauling it to the landfill. It’s manageable. If it looks like we’re going to make it through the winter long term, I’ll just have to adjust my plan.

The Public Works Committee could decide on the file at its meeting on July 21.

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