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Samotics’ clogging detection technology identifies a blockage outside of the pump

The problem

If a sewage pump unexpectedly breaks or trips due to a blockage, especially during a period of high flow, fluid that should be transported away starts to build up and flood the surrounding area. Many water utilities therefore rely on SAM4 Health and its automated clogging detection feature to provide early warning of developing pump blockages. In one particular case, the system has been installed on two sewage pumps at one of Yorkshire Water’s sewage pumping stations that transports wastewater from homes and businesses to the treatment plant. 

The solution

SAM4 Health detected a developing blockage event on one of the pumps (pump 2). Following an extended monitoring period, with no improvement in the situation, the customer scheduled a visit from the OEM engineers to lift both pumps and inspect for any obstructions.

Prior to this visit, Samotics experts performed additional diagnostics of the problem. The system indicated a consistent increase in spectral energy around the pump’s supply frequency with a sudden change in active power, which are indicators for cavitation. Based on this data, we advised that the blockage was forming outside of the pump and recommended the customer to check the inlet and the discharge side of the pumping station for any obstruction. 

During the OEM visit, they inspected the pump and confirmed that it was indeed the inlet of the pump that was blocked. Following the visit and confirmation, the asset was shut down for maintenance work. After the customer cleaned the well and the inlet of the pump, SAM4 Health confirmed that the pump had returned to healthy behavior.

SAM4 Health data from detecting outside of the pump developing clogging scores.
SAM4 Health captured an upward trend for the clogging scores developing in one of the sewage pumps at the station.

The result

Yorkshire Water greatly valued the specific information about where exactly the blockage was forming in the system. This not only prevented an unexpected pump failure, but also enabled the team to identify and resolve harmful and inefficient pump operation. This detection also avoided over €20k in maintenance costs.

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