The clarifiers at your wastewater treatment plant have been a main staple of your process for many, many years. Since they were installed, they've probably been your most reliable piece of equipment. Slowly rotating, 24/7, day after day, year after year, rarely (if ever) causing issues in your system.
But it may be time to give your most ignorable piece of equipment a closer look. Age, exposure to the elements, and chemicals take a toll on the steel and concrete in your clarifier, and if it's exhibiting these warning signs, get ready to get a plan together quickly to resurrect it, before it's too late.
FAILING PAINTWhen your clarifier mechanism was first put into commission, it had a brand new shiny coat of paint. Since then it has been exposed to the elements and chemicals that have slowly eaten away the coating.
Check your metal surfaces for chipped paint, rust, blistering, and exposed metal showing other signs of degradation. Serious damage to paint on metal and concrete surfaces should be addressed immediately.
SKIMMER ARM IS RUNNING OUT OF PLANEOf course we all know the skimmer arms are supposed to rotate around the clarifier parallel to the surface of the water. However, when bearing races have worn, an excessive load has been placed on the arms, or seals have been damaged, the skimmer arms are affected. When this occurs, they can scrape the bottom of the clarifier, hang up on the scum beach or run out of plane with one skimmer arm out of the water.
CHANGES IN OILIf oil levels in the clarifier drive are low, or you are noticing water in the oil, you may have a failed bearing or seal.
If your clarifier is exhibiting any of these signs, it's time to take action. When addressed promptly, clarifiers can be repaired to like new condition, adding years of life to the equipment. But if ignored, a repair bill becomes a replacement bill.
Not sure if your clarifier is on the brink of failure? Request a clarifier consultation. We gladly provide technical assistance to businesses and wastewater treatment facilities in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.