A new raw wastewater influent pumping station was designed for the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant in Chicago. The new station could not be designed to be in full compliance with design guidelines of the Hydraulic Institute due to site constraints. Proper operation of the pumping station and optimum operational flexibility are goals for the successful long term performance of the new station. A physical model study was used to identify deficiencies in the original design relative to flow characteristics. The model enabled development of design modifications to address hydraulic flow deficiencies. The optimized design resulted in pump approach flow conditions that provide proper pump performance under a wide range of varying water levels and different combinations of operating pumps and screen channels. Other benefits of the model included improvement in pump efficiency, lack of air entrainment, decreased pump wear, and decreased scour of concrete surfaces. Optimized design also results in operation and maintenance cost savings which, in the long run, will greatly surpass the cost of the physical model study. The required elements to optimize the performance were integrated with the design of the facility, thereby avoiding potentially costly retrofits if the deficiencies had not been mitigated prior to construction.

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