The Allegany County Fairgrounds lacked the adequate wastewater infrastructure for the growing crowds at its events. Allegany County worked with Sherwood-Logan & Associates and Xylem to replace a failing pump station with a complete packaged system. The new Flygt TOP pump station has a self-cleaning design and a non-clogging Adaptive N-technology pump, which reduce costs and energy use.
The Allegany County Fairgrounds, located just west of Cumberland, Maryland, occupy over 150 acres along the Potomac River. When not curtailed by COVID, 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, an annual festival held over Memorial Day weekend that celebrates the music of bluegrass legend Del McCoury.
Old pump station frequently clogged after large events
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 Allegany County could accommodate. DelFest alone has grown to over 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 trusted partner to solve the pump station problem
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 marked the country’s first Flygt TOP pump station installation for Xylem.
Since that initial installation more than 10 years ago, that first TOP fiberglass pump station has operated uninterrupted.
“That station has been trouble-free,” said Yoder. “It has never clogged.”
As a matter of practice, Yoder said fairground staff clean the wet well before each large event, although the mix-flush valve really makes this cleaning unnecessary.
“That Flygt system has been working perfectly and the mix-flush valve keeps the wet well clean,” he said.
Fast installation and self-cleaning design
When the second station on site needed help, county staff knew exactly who to call and the solution they wanted. With plans 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 Flygt TOP pump station, Allegany County once again turned to Sherwood-Logan & Associates to assist with engineering and designing the solution.
The advantages of using a prepackaged fiberglass pump station start with its speed of installation. Units are lightweight and easily handled. Excavation time and confined space entry are minimised, and this means minimal site work and time at the site.
The innovative, self-cleaning design of the pump sump bottom in Flygt’s pre-engineered pump stations directs the solids and debris normally found in wastewater to the inlet of the Flygt N-pumps where they can be effectively pumped away.
The interior of the pump station is coated with a smooth gel-coat finish, which helps inhibit the build-up of grease and sludge. Fiberglass stations also are more corrosion-resistant and wear-resistant than concrete, and require no additional interior protective coatings.
“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.”
Ultimately, Allegany County went with a second Flygt TOP pump station at the site. 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.
Reduced callouts and 25% energy savings
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.
“The Flygt N series with mix-flush valve is our go-to pump in difficult applications,” said Yoder. “We have Flygt pumps throughout our system. Especially in our most problematic applications.”
The packaged solution of Flygt prefabricated pump station and non-clogging Adaptive N-technology pump 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 Adaptive N technology secures a sustained efficiency that guarantees 25% energy savings. The solution has reduced service callouts, brought peace of mind to the customer, and helped make the fairgrounds’ operations more sustainable.
“Now when live events return with their large crowds after the COVID pandemic, the County will be ready,” said Kevin Kamauf, Allegany County Fairgrounds manager.