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Reducing Home Water Footprint

Reducing Home Water Footprint

 

Water is quickly trending toward becoming a scarcer and scarcer commodity. Many areas are being introduced to severe restrictions on water usage, and this forces many consumers to consider ways to reduce water consumption.

At Ashton Tucker, we’re here to help with water conservation – not only for the good of the consumer, but for the good of the planet as well. Our water treatment equipment has several conservation elements included. Let’s look at several simple ways you can save water around your home and reduce your water footprint.

Leaks

This one seems obvious, but some people don’t realize the full extent to which fixing leaks can conserve water. Running taps and toilets can cause you to waste thousands of gallons of water per year. Read your water meter when you know there’s no water being used, and see if it’s still turning – if so, this could mean you have a leak that’s costing you money and damaging your conservation efforts.

Water Softener

Hard water can be damaging to appliances, which can shorten their lifespan and increase your footprint. Soft water is easier to lather with, which will shorten shower time and lower water usage. You’ll also spend less on shampoo, soaps and detergents with a water softener installed.

Smart Irrigation

Use drip feed and efficient spray heads for irrigation to avoid water loss due to evaporation. Water the garden at smart times – generally early in the morning. Ensure sprayers are only hitting the garden, and not the paving or the road nearby.

Well Water

If possible in your area, consider well water to reduce costs and alleviate pressure on city water systems.

Water-Efficient Machines

Look for water-efficient washing machines and dishwashers, and only run these when you have a full load. Consider low-flow toilets, which average about 1.6 gallons of water per flush compared to 3.5 gallons for older toilet types.

Aerators

Installing aerators in taps and shower heads is a great way to lower your footprint. An aerator will save up to 30 percent of your water usage in a given fixture without showing a noticeable difference in performance.

For more on lowering your water footprint, or to find out about our water and wastewater processing equipment, contact the pros at Ashton Tucker today.

 

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Differences Between Filtration and Purification | Ashton Tucker

Differences Between Filtration and Purification

 

More than one process exists for properly cleaning drinking water and removing all potentially harmful contaminants from it, and at Ashton Tucker, we’re here to help with all of them. Our water treatment equipment is designed to handle all areas of drinking and wastewater processing.

The terms used during some of these processes is vital for differentiating between them. Did you know, for instance, that water filtration and water purification are actually very different things? Let’s look at the basics of both, and when you might need them.

Water Filtration

Water filtration describes the process of cleaning water through a homemade filtration system, with chemicals or through a biological process. Water filtration is only focused on removing impurities like sand or living organisms from the water, and will be limited in its scope. Filtration systems might be either portable or permanent, and they’ll vary in size based on the amount of water that needs to be filtered.

Water that’s filtered through one of these systems may not be completely clear of all possible contaminants. There may still be chemicals and other viruses left behind, and these can continue to make water unsafe to drink until it’s gone through the purification process.

Water Purification

Purification is similar to filtration, but is a more complete process. It removes all impurities from the water, including biological contaminants, viruses, chemicals and other unseen materials. It’s generally done as a process involving chemicals like iodine or chlorine, which can do more to eliminate these contaminants than the basic filtration process. It is possible, however, that certain impurities may still be present after some kinds of purification.

When You Need Both

Anyone living off the grid or requiring full drinking capabilities will need both a filtration system and a purification system. This will ensure that water is clean and safe from any contaminants that can cause illness.

To find out more about how our water processing equipment can assist with both filtration and purification, speak to the experts at Ashton Tucker today. 

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Signs and Solutions for Home Contamination | Ashton Tucker

Signs and Solutions for Home Contamination

 

At Ashton Tucker, one of our primary goals with our water treatment equipment is to provide safe and properly treated drinking water. Whether in a large treatment plant or in the home, the proper procedures for water treatment must always be followed to ensure safety in water being consumed.

Whether you rent or own your living space, you can play a part in making sure your water is properly treated and remains healthy. Here are a few tips to follow here, including initial signs that something might be wrong with your water, and what you can do about it.

First Signs

In many cases, the early signs that there’s something wrong with your drinking water will be readily apparent to your senses. Water that contains unhealthy amounts of sulfur, for instance, will often give off an odor of rotten eggs. If there’s metal sentiment in water, it can often taste metallic in a noticeable way.

If you notice these or any other significant differences in taste, smell or consistency, stop drinking your water and pick up the phone to call your local supplier.

Consumer Confidence Report

By law, you can request that your local supplier provide you with a copy of their most recent Consumer Confidence Report. This is a report that will allow you to take an in-depth look at the quality of water being provided in your area or community, and to pick up on any issues herein. If there are discrepancies, you can demand maintenance or a return of funds.

Individual Home Tests

If you’re still unsure of the issue after viewing the Consumer Confidence Report, you can ask the supplier or agency to run a separate, individual test on the water coming from your own home. You can also perform this test yourself with a home testing kit, though these results tend to be less detailed – but they can still identify harmful chemicals, pesticides or bacteria in the water.

Want to learn more about identifying water issues, or interested in any of our water process equipment? Speak to the pros at Ashton Tucker today. 

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Drive Units for Clarifiers and Thickeners

AshtonTucker Drive Units

Drive units from AshtonTucker are rated by the amount of torque they can produce on a continual basis for 20 years.  This differs substantially from Duty Rated Torque used by many manufacturers over the years.  (For an overview discussing Duty Rated Torque, please see http://www.ashtuck.com/blog/oil.php )  For instance, a drive that is Duty Rated for 10,000 ft-lbf will trigger a torque alarm at 30% or 3,000 ft-lbf.   Above this point, the operators are acknowledging that drive life is being diminished.  Often times, the 30% alarm level is actually the torque level where the drive is rated to last 10 years.  So a drive Duty Rated for 10,000 ft-lbf, would be somewhat comparable to a continuous rated drive at 3,000 ft-lbf.  Please keep this information in mind when comparing drive units.

 

Direct Drive – Example Model Number 10227

This drive unit supplies the torque for the clarifier or thickener, but does not offer any overturning moment capacity for unbalanced loads such as a skimmer going over a scum box.  These forces are generally assumed to be small where this drive is applied due to the use of underwater bearings or guides, or by the nature of small size of the mechanism used.

The rated torque capacity is a function of the output speed.  The faster the speed, the shorter the life, or the lower the torque rating.  While virtually any output speed can be achieved, standard speeds and torques are as shown in the table.

 

RPM

Torque [ft-lbf]

Torque [Nm]

 
 
 

0.08

3700

5050

 

0.17

3430

4650

 

0.22

3300

4500

 

0.3

3225

4375

 

0.34

3175

4300

 

0.38

3125

4250

 

PEAK

5150

7000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Drive Unit

 

G19 – Example Model Number 10225

This drive uses a precision bearing to take overturning moments up to 40,000 ft-lbf that allows for unforeseen and unbalanced loading of the drive unit.  The torque capacity of this drive is a nominal 6,800 ft-lbf continuous for 20 year.  The rated torque is a function of the output speed as shown in the standard speeds table.  Again, virtually any speed can be achieved, with a corresponding rated output torque at that speed.

 

RPM

Torque [ft-lbf]

Torque [Nm]

 
 

0.08

6800

9250

 

0.09

6750

9150

 

0.1

6600

9000

 

0.12

6500

8850

 

0.13

6450

8750

 

0.14

6400

8650

 

PEAK

10600

14500

 

 

 D25 or G19 Drive Unit

 

G19M – Example Model Number 10237

This drive unit is the big brother to the G19.  The nominal rated torque is 10,000 ft-lbf.   The attachment of the thickener or clarifier shaft differs at this higher torque capacity.  The rated torque table is as shown below.

RPM

Torque [ft-lbf]

Torque [Nm]

 
 

0.06

10650

14450

 

0.07

10600

14350

 

0.08

10400

14100

 

0.09

10225

13850

 

0.1

10150

13750

 

0.11

10000

13600

 

PEAK

12900

17500

 

 

 Drive unit High torque

 

Cage Drive Unit – Example Model Number 10226

This is a column mounted drive unit, for use with a center cage system to transmit torque to the mechanism.  The precision bearing used allows for an overturning moment of 300,000 ft-lbf making it suitable for clarifiers up to 100 feet in diameter.  The nominal toque rating for this drive is 30,000 ft-lbf continuous for 20 years.  Like all the other drives mentioned, virtually any output speed can be achieved, however standard speeds and rated torque are as shown in the table below.

 

 

RPM

Torque [ft-lbf]

Torque [Nm]

0.028

35500

48100

0.032

35300

47800

0.038

34600

46900

0.041

34300

46500

0.046

33700

45600

0.061

32600

44200

0.089

30750

41600

PEAK

46500

63000

 

 

 Drive unit High torque

 

 

 

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Clarifier Maintenance

It costs a lot to keep Clarifiers up and running. Their downtime often results in fines, permit violations and not to mention community ill will. Routine maintenance and semi-annual inspection of the mechanism helps prolong the life of the machine.  Sometimes all that is needed is an occasional touchup of the paint or coating system.  These are simple and inexpensive proactive steps that will usually prevent most problems. The most common areas that need attention are the effluent system (weirs and baffles), the sludge removal system (headers and squeegees) and the drive. The effluent and sludge removal systems require maintenance only occasionally, whereas the drive requires regular maintenance.

Effluent System
Most effluent systems consist of a V-notched weir attached to a launder. The weir must be kept level, and the weir and launder must be clean and free of algae. Regular cleaning with brushes, pressurized water, and even some chlorine will accomplish this.

Some cleaning systems use spring-loaded brushes or pressurized water jets attached to the rotating mechanism which clean the weir, launder walls and scum baffle. An other method of preventing algae growth is to install opaque launder covers to prevent the entry of growth-promoting light.  This is expensive, but so is maintenance.

Sludge Removal System Maintenance
A common component of sludge removal systems is the squeegees that sweep the tank floor. It is important that they sweep the floor clean. Therefore, they should be inspected and adjusted whenever the tank is drained. Clarifiers that remove sludge by differential head pressures have seals where the rotating parts connect to the stationary points. “Short-circuiting” occurs when influent is drawn directly into the underflow through leaky seals. This can be prevented by replacing the seals as they become worn.

Although suction clarifiers are typically secondary clarifiers, they are still susceptible to plugging. Riser pipe valves can plug if the flow rate is low. Suction header orifices can also plug with foreign debris. The tank should therefore be cleaned regularly. Some operators schedule tank cleaning for fall to remove dead leaves.

Clarifier Drive Maintenance
Good drive maintenance requires attention to six things:
• Condensate removal
• Lubrication
• Proper functioning of the torque control
• Maintenance and/or replacement of reducer bearings and seals
• Chain maintenance
• Strip liner wear monitoring

Condensate Removal
Water condenses and collects in all clarifier drives and, if allowed to accumulate, can cause the main gear and bearing to rust and fail quickly. The regular removal of this water is, therefore, the single most critical aspect of drive maintenance.  Luckily, this is quite easily accomplished.   Clarifier drives have valves at the low point of their housing through which condensate is drained. The operator should drain the condensate at least weekly and more often in areas of high rainfall or humidity. The operator should monitor how quickly condensate accumulates in a particular drive and drain the condensate accordingly.  Maintenance routines may change throughout the year.

Lubrication
The primary and secondary reducers and the main gear and bearing require lubrication. The reducers and main bearing run in grease or oil and may share a common oil bath with the main gear, which usually runs partially immersed in oil. The reducers, main bearing and main gear casing have grease fittings or oil fillers and oil drains. An oil sight glass or dipstick is usually provided for checking the oil level.

The operator should grease the reducers, where possible, and check all oil levels weekly and should also drain and replace the main gear oil every 6 months.

Proper Torque Control Functioning
An occasional check to ensure that the torque control is functioning properly can prevent catastrophic damage to the drive and clarifier that might occur in the unlikely event of a malfunction. Many torque control mechanisms have a manual bypass and a visual torque indicator that make it easy to check their functioning.

The operator should work the bypass through the range of the visual indicator while the drive is running. If the torque alarm or the motor cutout fails to actuate at the designated torque levels, the torque control mechanism should be repaired immediately.

Maintenance and/or Replacement of Reducer Bearings and Seals
In all types of primary and secondary reducers, bearings and seals must be lubricated regularly and replaced when necessary. When seals and bearings wear out, they must be replaced according to manufacturer’s instructions. Worn seals will leak oil or grease. Worn bearings will make noise or get hot. They should then be replaced before they damage the rest of the drive mechanism.

Chain Maintenance
Many newer drive units have helical or planetary-gear reducers that are coupled directly to the drive motor and main gear. Such designs are safer, more efficient and reliable and require less maintenance than old-fashioned drive chains. Most older drive units, however, link the primary reducer to the secondary reducer through a drive chain and sprockets. The drive chain must be lubricated and tensioned and the alignment of the sprockets checked. Improper lubrication can cause the drive chain to wear out prematurely and improper tensioning and/or sprocket misalignment can cause it to come off the sprockets.

The operator should lubricate the drive chain weekly with WD-40 or foaming chain lube. Such lubricants are ideal since they penetrate and lubricate chain pins and rollers without causing excessive buildup. The operator should also check the alignment of the sprockets with a straightedge and adjust the drive chain so that it does not have excessive slack. When properly tensioned, the chain will not have more than about one inch of slack at its midpoint.

Monitor Strip Liner Wear
Many older drive designs have hardened steel strips, known as “strip liners,” as their main bearing surface. Strip liners have a life of only about 10 to 15 years. The precision main bearings used by some manufacturers, on the other hand, will easily outlast the rest of the clarifier mechanism if properly maintained. Either excessive noise or a notable movement of the top of the drive, which may cause the scrapers to drag on the clarifier floor, may indicate the need to replace the strip liners.

Conclusion
A thorough, well-thought-through program of regular clarifier maintenance, together with a semi-annual inspection of the mechanism and an occasional touchup of the paint or coating system, will yield big payoffs in longer equipment life and avoided downtime. This small investment of oil and time might just prevent a lot of headaches as well.  It is better to perform the work at a time that is convenient, rather than during an emergency.

 

A special thanks goes to WesTech engineering and Jesse Kelley for their contribution to this article.

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Drinking Water Treatment

Drinking Water Treatment

Groundwater Treatment

AshtonTucker offers a wide variety of equipment for groundwater treatment for potable use. Sometimes the goal is gas removal, or iron and manganese removal, color removal, or even softening.  Some wells under the direct influence of surface water may even require filtering. Let AshtonTucker be part of the solution.  We offer aeration, chemical addition, flash mixing, and filtering. 

Surface Water Treatment
AshtonTucker also offers surface water treatment for potable use.  Whether treating several million gallons a day for a municipality, or just a few hundred gallons for a private development, we have the right equipment for the job. Depending upon the raw water quality, flow rate, and operational preferences, we can provide conventional treatment systems, combination treatment units, package plants, high-rate processes, or even customized solutions.

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AshtonTucker Retrofit Drive | AshtonTucker

Rebuild or New – Replacement Drive Units

When the option is rebuilding old equipment or buying new, consider the costs of each. The maintenance and scheduling worries associated with rebuilding your existing drive may lead to an AshtonTucker Retrofit Drive as the most cost-effective solution. Our experience in building new drives and rebuilding other manufacturers' strip liner type drives shows that the costs associated with each are comparable.  So why put lipstick on a pig, when brand-new is an affordable option.

With the infinite fabrication possibilities afforded from steel housings, AshtonTucker provides direct, bolt-in replacement drives for your old or failed drives.   A brand-new, full warranty AshtonTucker Retrofit Drive takes advantage of the same efficient components and quality manufacturing as our OEM drives, and provides your mechanism with the single best clarifier and thickener drives available.  A brand-new drive at a price that fits the budget.

The cost of the drive unit is only one consideration.   A decision to rebuild a drive means removing it from service, rebuilding it, and then returning it to service.   A better option is often to have an AshtonTucker Retrofit Drive unit on site, before removing the existing drive.   The new drive unit can often be replaced the same day the old drive unit is removed.  Then the primary clarifier or secondary clarifier is back in service.

Let the experts at AshtonTucker be part of the solution.  Get a quote today.

www.AshTuck.com

 

 

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Wastewater Facility Safety Precautions | Ashton Tucker

Wastewater Facility Safety Precautions

 

At AshtonTucker, it’s our goal to provide your facility with high-quality water treatment equipment that gets the job done both safely and efficiently. Our technicians can offer years of expertise in everything from water testing to custom equipment.

We’re committed to safety within wastewater processing, and this means all employees in the facility taking some proper precautions. Here are a few of the most important.

Vaccinations

Workers who regularly work with processing wastewater should be current on several immunizations, particularly tetanus-diphtheria and hepatitis. There’s also slight risk for water-borne pathogens to make contact with such employees, and if needed, other vaccinations could become necessary. If you’re unsure exactly what’s right for you, consult a doctor.

Hand Washing

Regular hand-washing with anti-bacterial soap should be required at all wastewater facilities. Employees should wash thoroughly, and scrub under nails. This should be done before any eating, drinking or smoking, and after any use of the restroom or contact with even a mild contaminant.

Avoiding Direct Contact

Always avoid direct contact with wastewater, mostly involving the right protective clothing – we’ll get to this in our next section.

Protective Clothing

Employees must always wear rubber gloves, plus any additional required protective clothing. Clothing should be washed regularly to remove contaminants – it’s generally recommended that this washing be done on-site, as any contamination in the home could spread. It’s also recommended that wastewater employees shower at the end of shifts.

Drowning Safety

Be careful regarding employee safety around larger bodies of water, including extreme currents or any processing equipment. Make sure there are proper railings and safety guidelines posted in the workplace, and keep rescue buoys or throw bags on hand just in case there’s an accident.

Emergency Planning

Always be prepared in case of emergency, including topics like fires, explosions, floods, spills, chemical releases or other disasters. However unlikely these events are, being properly prepared is vital if one does take place. Occasionally test and update emergency plans, and keep employee emergency contact lists.

To learn more about wastewater facility safety, or to find out about our water processing equipment or other services, speak to the pros at AshtonTucker today. 

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Why is wastewater aerated? | AshtonTucker Ashtuck.com

Why is wastewater aerated?

One of the single most significant costs of running a wastewater treatment plant is the power used to aerate the water.   There are several stages in the process flowchart that require air.   Right out of the gate (or bar screen in this case) is the aerated grit chamber.   Air is added to the grit chamber not for biological reasons, but for physical separation reasons.  The lower density water achieved by adding air makes the solid particles sink faster, in less space.  It also serves to agitate the liquid, and break up any organic solids that can be treated downstream.  So before any biological treatment really begins, there has already been a need for air.

Dissolved organics pass from the grit chamber, through the primary clarifier, and on to the aeration basin.  This is the activated sludge process.  Within the aeration basin, the biology works its magic.  The conversion of nitrogen to ammonia or ammonium happens effortlessly when the nitrogen is introduced to the water.  Specialized autotrophic bacteria then convert the ammonium to nitrite then to nitrate.   This process requires the wastewater to be aerated, and is surprisingly not as foul smelling as one might think.  The wastewater is then denitrified by creating an anoxic zone where heterotrophic bacteria strip off the oxygen from the nitrate, and release nitrogen gas to the atmosphere.   By providing our favorite bacteria an advantage with aerated zones, and then anoxic zones, the natural purification process is sped up dramatically.

Wastewater can then be further cleaned by filtration, and the solids can be thickened by gravity, or dissolved air floatation.  These step help produce an effluent that is reusable, and solids that can be removed by land application or incineration.

AshtonTucker can help with any of the processes along the way.  We keep your equipment running by providing WesTech parts, EIMCO parts and many others.  Our engineering and sales people are anxious to get involved in your next project.

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Turnkey Solutions | AshtonTucker

water Treatment Control

 

The Problem

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints runs a humanitarian relief facility where they bottle and process food for those in need.   As part of this process, the wash water and some of the process water is sent to the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW), also known as the city sewer system.   The POTW puts strict guidelines on the water that is sent to them in order to maintain their process and provide stability by avoiding surges of water with drastically different process properties.   Additionally, they charge those that discharge into their system based on the amount of flow that is sent to them.   Recently, there had been several periods where the LDS Church was sending water that was not within the pH specifications required by the POTW.   This resulted in fines for being out of compliance.  The system did not have a way to determine how much flow was actually being sent to the POTW, so it was based on the worst case scenario.

 

The Solution

AshTuck.com provided the turnkey solution for the project.   All permits, Site work, concrete, electrical work, plumbing, new fencing and project oversight were all provide by AshTuck.com.

By moving the chemical addition closer to the pH adjustment tanks, the response time improved and the process was much more controllable. By using a specially designed building as the control room, and pH adjustment skid, the need for separate chemical containment was eliminated, providing more usable space in the process facility.

The automation and controls resulted in a much more stable process.  Not only have there been no permit violations, but the actual chemical use has been reduced dramatically.  The controls even email the operators the information needed for their report to the POTW.  These data allow for a less expensive permit since the flowrates can be verified and quantified.

 

We are part of the solution www.AshTuck.com 801-290-5757

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