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PandM Pumps, the UK distributor for Vaughan Chopper Pumps and Aquagib, has overcome the challenges of Gibraltar’s wastewater system.

Heavy rag and solids entering the wastewater system had meant the pumps required significant maintenance and repair.

And because pumping stations on Gibraltar use sea water for domestic flushing and in pumping stations, problems related to salt-water corrosion meant Aquagib had to avoid using submersible pumps.

The first attempted solution was for the pumping stations to utilise a priming system involving a concept originally developed for filling steam-engine water tenders with clean water.

When used with an open-channel impeller centrifugal pump, these systems operated to specification.

However, as a result of significant changes in the nature of the solids (being less degradable) the pumps became less reliable and prone to blockages within the priming system, causing the pumps and components to fail prematurely.

Combined with difficulties in obtaining critical spare parts for the now-obsolete pumps, the cost of maintaining the pumping stations in Gibraltar was unacceptable.

A Vaughan SP6K chopper pump was initially supplied on a trial basis at the Waterport Pumping station.

Situated adjacent to the Ocean Village complex and one of Gibraltar’s high-profile pumping stations, the Waterport Pumping facility is on an area of reclaimed land that includes several high-value apartment developments overlooking a marina, restaurants, bars and other leisure facilities.

It is also on an important pedestrian route from the busy cruise-liner terminal into Gibraltar town.

Consequently, the frequent pump breakdowns resulted in high-maintenance costs and noise, odour and potential health risks, in an area that was particularly sensitive.

Following the successful trial of the pump, a standard Vaughan self-priming chopper pump was installed at the Waterport pumping station in October 2007 and has run consistently well with only routine maintenance.

As a result of this consistently reliable operation, Aquagib installed a second pump at the Waterport site.

Another seven Vaughan Chopper Pumps have since been installed in other pumping stations in Gibraltar and there are plans to replace others in the future.

In many cases, retrofitting a Vaughan Chopper Pump improves the whole process and is self-financing, with payback periods of less than one year.

P and M Pumps

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