Tsurumi champions pumps in waste processing

Tsurumi pumps are now operating in some of the most contaminated water treatment sites in Europe and are proving highly successful at processing aggressive leachates under extreme conditions, according to the company.

Tsurumi pumps are now operating in some of the most contaminated water treatment sites in Europe and are proving highly successful at processing aggressive leachates under extreme conditions, according to the company.

One of the most challenging applications for pump manufacturers is the processing of leachates in industrial waste treatment centres. In Europe, the by-products of production processes, including waste metals, chemicals, contaminated sludges and even nuclear waste, form giant industrial waste mountains, which have to be carefully treated before they are safe enough to be sent to landfill. However, these toxic waste mountains are not the only polluted substances that need attention at dedicated treatment centres.

Rain water percolates through the industrial waste mountains while they are stored and awaiting treatment, generating a toxic run-off liquid, or leachate, which is every bit as polluted and dangerous as the original waste pile. Typically, these liquids are channelled into vast holes dug into the earth to form controlled basins. The 1999 European Directive relating to the Dumping of Waste sets out strict criteria for the storage and processing of industrial leachates to ensure that the way they are collected, handled and eventually dumped complies with regulatory requirements.

For these reasons, leachate basins are lined with membranes to stop the polluted water from penetrating the ground and entering the water table. This solution creates large chemical baths which offer an inhospitable environment for the pumps that are used to process the liquid. The pumps selected have to be suspended 30cm above the membrane to avoid suction on the membrane, which could cause a tear or a hole. They must also be robust enough to need little or no maintenance.

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