A water system plant has caused a stir with its customers, after a notice was sent out that reported a water pump problem. Any time such news is received, those relying on the plant would be concerned, but many are complaining about the fact that they were not told sooner.
The report, sent to all customers serviced by the plant, indicated that approximately two months before, a pump malfunctioned. It required immediate attention, especially because the pump was used to add a coagulant to the water, which trapped and filtered out potentially harmful bacteria. According to the letter, the water was tested and was never deemed unfit for consumption.
In this case of pump failure, it was likely a preventable event, had proper steps been taken to ensure the system was working properly. In other words, proper maintenance and regular assessment might have prevented the whole ordeal.
One very quick and affordable step to take, so your facility doesn’t encounter the same issues, is to install pressure transmitters on the supply and discharge sides of the pump. The NoShok 100 series pressure transmitter is an accurate, inexpensive sensor that can be easily integrated into any control system. With these sensors, supply and return pressures of the pump can be trended, and changes in performance can be noted over the operating time of the pump. These changes in performance can indicate possible failure, therefore allowing the technicians, responsible for the upkeep of the system, to investigate and make preventive maintenance repairs.
Mechanical systems do fail, and their lifetimes are not infinite, but with the right controls and sensors, they can be properly maintained and analyzed, which often means that the lifetime is extended. This plant likely would have saved themselves a good deal of money and the backlash that was brought on by the delayed notice.