New Aerator Slashes Electrical Costs While Increasing Oxygen Levels
By Shea Casey
In 2012 the City of Evart, Michigan turned to VaraCorp for help in meeting its aeration needs. The City’s budget was tight, costs were escalating, and a number of existing aerators needed replacing. The lead operator at the plant asked the City to approve the purchase of nineteen of VaraCorp’s 3-horsepower aerators to replace the aging 20-horsepower, propeller-type aerators. It was a bold move.
Evart is a small community with a population of 1700 residents. Its wastewater facility consists of two aerated lagoons, a storage/polishing lagoon, and a four-cell rapid infiltration basin. The aerated lagoons are 1.10 surface acres each and are about ten feet deep. The storage/polishing pond is nearly twenty acres in size with a twelve-foot depth. The daily influent is about 300,000 gallons.
City management agreed to buy six VaraCorp aerators for a 3 month trial. The plan was to buy 13 more aerators if the initial six met or exceeded expectations. Once the City’s technicians installed the six VaraCorp aerators, they began daily lab tests to assess performance. The results were surprising. Although the aerators were powered by motors that were only 1/7th the size of the prop aerators being replaced (3 hp vs 20 hp,) the dissolved oxygen content of the water began to rise to new levels. Given this result, the City approved the purchase of thirteen more aerators in a matter of weeks.
Photo showing the initial six VaraCorp aerators in the Evart wastewater pond
Once all nineteen VaraCorp aerators were in operation, the dissolved oxygen level rose from
4 to 5 parts per million (ppm) to 5 to 7 ppm. Of equal importance Patrick Muczynski, the current lead operator, reported in early 2016 that the electrical costs are barely 25% of the costs for the old aerators. Plus, the VaraCorp aerators have required virtually no maintenance since their installation. These combined savings were enough to pay for the purchase price of the turbine aerators in short order.
VaraCorp can be reached at varacop.com or by calling 800-801-6685