Bypass Pumping Details Often Taken For Granted

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2011 Vol. 66 No. 1

Addressing the problems of the nation’s aging underground infrastructure is a priority for many cities and sanitary sewer and water districts across North America. Though slowed by the economy, there is still a host of massive rehabilitation and construction projects under way or in planning stages with many more such efforts to come.

A critical component of rehabilitation projects is the design and construction of efficient temporary by-pass pipeline systems to divert flow from segments of pipe being rehabilitated or replaced so that vital services to residences and businesses are not interrupted during construction.

For projects containing large-diameter pipes, the bypass system itself is a major project.

“Depending on the nature and scope of the project, bypass pumping can be relatively easy or extremely difficult and complicated,” said Lynn Osborn, senior applications manager for Insituform Technologies, a leading worldwide provider of proprietary technologies and services for rehabilitating sewer, water, energy and other industrial pipelines.

“For small sewers, the flow is often plugged or handled with one small pump,” Osborn continued. “As pipe diameters and flow rates increase, bypass pumping can become one of the most complex and costly components of the project, especially when flows can exceed 100 million gallons per day.

“However, the importance of bypass pumping is always critical because sewage overflows or spills, large or small, can cause significant project consequences, social impact and/or environmental damage.”

Bypass systems are installed by general contractors or specialist subcontractors.

The heart of a bypass system is a pump or pumps, and several pump companies have developed equipment to satisfy the demands of bypass installations. Some manufacturers and/or their distributors serve as subcontractors providing pumps and other equipment on a rental basis, installing the bypass system and removing it after the project is complete.

What’s best for the customer
Godwin Pumps rents pumps and provides bypass design and installation services.

“We will do whatever is best for the customer,” said Ron Askin, vice president and director of sales. “We rent a lot of equipment set up by the contractor, but it seems like more and more are requiring turnkey systems. In that case, we engineer the solution, rent the equipment including pumps, pipes/hoses, fittings, fuel tanks, road ramps, motor controls, level floats, etc. In addition, we provide pipe fusion services, pump watch and pump maintenance services.