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Water Treatment Problems & Solutions

Corrosion Defeats Overload Protection


A large wastewater treatment facility has several process tanks, which contain large, slow moving, mixing arms. The nature of the design results in some occasional large overloads.

The original design included shear bolts. The operators quickly figured out that a heavy bolt reduced the chances of a shut down. However, when a significant load came along, they sheared the shaft instead.

Next, they tried an overload clutch. After a year, due to the nasty environment, the unit had corroded and seized. Again, they sheared the shaft.


We have done a lot of work in this area and have come across many similar situations. We had been involved in the development of a simple stainless steel design with excellent sealing.

We reviewed their torque and speed requirements and examined their sprocket mount. We were able to come up with a direct drop-in. It turned out that installation and removal was even easier than expected, adding another benefit.

Give us a call if you cannot solve your overload problems.

Flocculator Start-up


The Water Treatment Industry uses large slow paddle wheel flocculators to mix chemicals in the treatment process.

These slow, high torque drives are subject to several overloads, which will break couplings, damage paddles or shear shafts. Just getting the large paddles started in standing water present a real challenge.


After reviewing the complete range of torque requirements necessary for these drives, it became apparent that our hydrostatic units were the best option.

Our high-torque controlled smooth startup unit is ideal for starting this high inertia load. The variable speed allows the operators to ideally match mixing with existing conditions.

Finally, the ability to monitor the actual torque and establish both warning and shut down set-points make our hydrostatic drive the best solution to this problem.

If this sounds similar to your drive requirements - give us a call.

Flood Control Pump


A municipality operated a number of pumping stations to control flooding. The pumps were driven by diesel engines. Over the years, reverse water pressure back-drove the pump and engine resulting in equipment damage.


We reviewed the installation and found we had limited options to mount a brake or backstop.

Given the space limitations, a caliper disc brake was the easiest to retro-fit. We discussed how they would like the brake to operate and decided on spring-set with air release. It was agreed that the pump load and engine resistance would retard the system quickly so we had to address heat build-up during shut down.

The solution was a special disc with multiple bolt circle so that it could be "sandwiched" into existing hardware. A pedestal was then added to hold the caliper disc brake.

If you need to upgrade an existing system—give us a call, we can help.

Chain Tensioning


Our water treatment plant customer operates several settling tanks with slow moving chain driven conveyors. Their original spring-loaded arm chain tensioner did not provide proper tension. As a result, they did not have good contact between the chain and sprocket teeth. Over time the chain "hopped" causing excessive loading of the sprocket teeth and chain links. Sprocket wear and chain failure quickly followed.


We reviewed the installation and found they could use our Snap Idle Tensioner. This patented device is easy to install and has no mounting points or moving parts. It can be retrofitted to most systems.

If you want to reduce sprocket wear, chain wear, maintenance and downtime, let us select a Snap Idle for your application.