Prefabricated Pump Station the Solution at Allegany County Fairgrounds

By Jared Carpenter

The Allegany County Fairgrounds, located just west of Cumberland, Maryland, occupy more than 150 acres along the Potomac River. Opposite the fairgrounds are the steep bluffs of Knobley Mountain in West Virginia. Scenic views to the south and east are spectacular, and considered a major asset to the fairground’s venue.

The fairgrounds are a hub of public and recreational activities, with family-friendly events like the county fair, baseball games, private parties and musical concerts such as DelFest, a popular annual festival held over Memorial Day weekend that celebrates the music of bluegrass legend Del McCoury.

Existing Infrastructure Struggling to Keep Up

As the number of events at the fairgrounds expanded over the years, it became apparent the venue lacked the adequate wastewater infrastructure to accommodate the growing crowds. The number of full RV hookups (water, electric and sewer) and partial RV hookups (water and electric only) was insufficient for larger events with more requests than the fairgrounds could accommodate. DelFest alone has grown to more than 30,000 spectators during its 13-year run.

With more and more people visiting the fairgrounds each year, it was also evident that an existing competitor grinder pump station was no longer capable of handling the increased wastewater needs during large events like the county fair and DelFest.

According to Mark Yoder, P.E., senior project manager for Allegany County, the problematic grinder station required a multitude of service calls after every large event to unclog the pump.

“We had trouble with the pump clogging with rags and baby wipes,” said Yoder.

A Dependable Partnership

With the current problem at hand, Allegany County staff knew that they had a partner – and a solution – they could trust. Back in 2009, for a different station at the fairgrounds site, the county had worked with Sherwood-Logan & Associates Inc., a Xylem distributor in Annapolis, Maryland, to purchase and install a Flygt TOP fiberglass pump station equipped with an optional mix-flush valve. At that time, the solution was new to the United States and the Allegany County Fairgrounds.

Since that initial installation more than 10 years ago, the TOP fiberglass pump station has operated uninterrupted. “That station has been trouble-free,” said Yoder. “It has never clogged.”

A Proven Solution

As plans got underway to expand Allegany County Fairgrounds’ camp site amenities in 2020, it became apparent the existing grinder pump that serviced the area needed to be replaced. Seeking to add another pump station, Allegany County once again turned to Sherwood-Logan & Associates to assist with engineering and designing the solution.  It was determined that the Flygt Model NP3127 has 7.5 hp and would be able to handle the estimated 120 gpm of projected flow at 40’ TDH.

In addition to handling larger flows, the county wanted a solution that would be quick and easy to install, accessible, easy to maintain, reliable and long lasting. For these reasons, Allegany County selected a second Flygt TOPS pump station for the site.

“The unique aspect of this solution is that it’s a complete package system,” explained Diane Graham, project manager for Sherwood-Logan & Associates. “Individual components aren’t coming from different suppliers.”

Packaged pump stations like TOPS come as a complete package containing all the essential elements ready for installation, making them a more efficient and cost-effective solution. These packaged pumping stations are typically prefabricated, manufactured offsite and delivered to site ready for installation, which saves significant programming time and project costs. By being designed, built and tested to the appropriate standards offsite, packaged pumping stations can be installed much more quickly onsite.

Additionally, the prepackaged fiberglass unit is lightweight and easily handled. Excavation time and confined space entry at the fairgrounds were minimized, leading to minimal site work and time at the site. The fiberglass station is more corrosion-resistant and wear-resistant than concrete and requires no additional interior protective coatings. The innovative, self-cleaning design of the pump sump bottom in the pre-engineered pump stations directs the solids and debris normally found in wastewater to the inlet of the pumps where they can be effectively pumped away.

The new system includes a valve vault with control panel. The valve vault greatly improves accessibility of the pump station valves and controls, placing pump station check valves, isolation valves and controls within easy reach for normal inspection, maintenance or service. And because the wet well and valve box came complete with piping and guide rails, installation and commissioning was remarkably fast and simple.

Packaged Pump Station Eliminates Clogs While Saving Energy

Allegany County Fairgrounds began expanding its amenities in January 2020, including the addition of 30 new camper hookups with water, sewer and electric with plans for 36 more. The county also installed a new camper dump station so campers not directly connected to the sewer can dispose of their wastewater before leaving, helping remove flow from the existing less reliable competitor grinder pump. The new Flygt TOP pump station, installed in the spring, is equipped to handle all of the added wastewater infrastructure, including the dump station.

“Now when live events return with their large crowds, the county is ready,” said Kevin Kamauf, Allegany County Fairgrounds manager.

The prefabricated pump station has eliminated pump clogs and easily accommodates the new RV hookups. The TOP pump station design purges more settled and floating solids than flat bottom stations, and the efficient pump technology is guaranteed to provide 25 percent energy savings.

The packaged pump station design has also helped eliminate costly maintenance and expensive unplanned service calls, and routine maintenance on the pumping equipment can be performed safely and easily. As a result of the reduced service callouts, the customer has renewed peace of mind.

With the return of the Allegany County Fair in July and live music events like the 14th annual DelFest in September, guests visiting the Allegany County Fairgrounds can be assured they will have access to safe, clean water and sanitation.

Jared Carpenter is a sales representative at Xylem Inc. and has been with the company for more than five years. Xylem works with water and wastewater utilities in the United States and globally to solve critical water and infrastructure challenges with innovation.

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