Being a Good Steward- NORD Drivesystems

Wastewater treatment is serious business. Gearboxes from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS help this small community process up to 15 million gallons of it daily, without fail, with no surprises.
BARTOW, Fla. - April 25, 2023 - PRLog -- Few of us give much thought to the water we use to flush our toilets and wash our dishes, especially once it goes down the drain. Fortunately for the City of Newport and its 10,000 or so citizens, Andrew Grant does. He and his team at the Vance Avery Wastewater Treatment Plant in South Beach, Oregon, are committed to keeping effluent safe, their facility dependable, and operating costs under control. Equipment from NORD DRIVESYSTEMS helps.

It's not an easy job. Processing requirements can vary dramatically from one day to the next, and without the right equipment, serious problems can result. "The story of Newport is one of tourism and growth," says Grant, who supervises the facility. "Not only has the population increased significantly since Vance Avery was constructed in 2002, but we get many visitors on the weekends and holidays. We're in coastal Oregon, so if there's a heat dome in the valley or it's the 4th of July weekend, people come out here on short notice, which creates unexpected demand on the facility. Because of this, we began to see some deficits in our ability to treat wastes."

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Grant noted that there are many ways to skin the wastewater cat; his facility utilizes a biological treatment method, which relies on microorganisms to "eat" dissolved solids in the waste stream. One of his many tasks is to keep those microbes happy and healthy, which requires a delicate balance of nutrients and oxygen. This is supplied by huge wheels that turn continuously, drawing fresh air into an aeration basin and helping the inhabitants thrive.

"A treatment plant is much like a farm," he adds. "The amount of air we provide determines how quickly the bugs grow and can therefore metabolize the waste. In our case, the basin is 1.44 million gallons, and we're keeping all that water moving in a circle to keep the solids in suspension. The problem is the peaking factor—where our town's base population is 10,000, we often need to accommodate four times that number for several days or even a week. That's why it's important to have plenty of capacity, not to mention redundancy in our equipment."

As the city's population increased and its tourism business expanded, Grant determined it was time to perform a condition and criticality assessment. The results were less than favorable. "We found that the condition of our aeration basin was poor. It's a highly critical piece of infrastructure, so we began plans to expand it and, simultaneously, replace a few pieces of broken equipment."
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