Friday, November 30, 2007

Foes of pumps in Delta ready to get their say

Natalie Chandler of the brings us the following story:

Protesters of a $220 million pump project in the lower Mississippi Delta region, some of whom have fought the plan for decades, say they will continue voicing their dissatisfaction at a public hearing Thursday.

At the 7 p.m. meeting at the Mayersville Courthouse, written comments will be accepted until Jan. 22, along with opinions that will be used to determine whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will move forward with the project designed to drain wetlands, farmland and forests.
In its final report, issued last week, corps officials said they have considered more than 4,000 public comments for the Yazoo Backwater Project. It would build a pump station to drain areas north of Vicksburg.

Corps officials said the plan would reduce flooding in a 100-year flood event by up to 4.5 feet, and Mississippi's congressional delegation has supported the plan.

But critics contend it would waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and negatively impact the same amount of acres of wetlands.

Two wildlife refuges and a black bear habitat also would be harmed, they said. "We've been opposed to the project for the last 40 years, and we'll continue to oppose it," said Cathy Shropshire, executive director of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation. Corps officials have denied protesters' allegations the project would drain 200,000 acres of Mississippi Delta wetlands.

The pump station would not be turned on until 200,000 acres are flooded as part of the annual flood, and those acres would remain flooded during pump operation, they said.
The 40-year-old project has changed over the years because of the public's concern, they added.

The final plan "provides less flood control benefits but more environmental benefits," said Kent Parrish, the corps' senior project manager.

"We are offering to reforest all the lands below the one-year flood plain," he said.
Up to 55,600 acres could be reforested if landowners agree, Parrish said. To protect the environment, officials plan to buy 10,000 acres before the pump is operating, he said.
But critics have said the agency's plans would not fix enough of the areas that would be destroyed.

Environmental Protection Agency officials and the White House also have objected to the project. The EPA said the pumps would harm the environment.

In a mass e-mail encouraging opposition to the plan, advocates with the Gulf Restoration Network called it "a boondoggle of the greatest magnitude."

"If approved, the Yazoo Pumps would be the world's largest pumping system and would cost federal taxpayers over $211 million," the e-mail said.

In a throwback to another era - and contrary to federal wetland policy - the pumps would be used to drain wetlands to allow more intensive agricultural production on floodplain lands."
A decision on the project isn't expected soon.

It could be "months or years" before officials decide whether to move forward, Parrish said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Feds tell Indian Point to fix pumps

This news comes from India (from The Journal News):

Indian Point doesn't need 14 months to fix a chronic sump pump problem that could prove critical in a nuclear reactor emergency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission documents show.

Company officials failed to make "a convincing case" to delay completion of the Indian Point 3 work until a refueling shutdown in the spring of 2009, according to a Nov. 20 letter from the NRC, obtained by The Journal News.

The project was supposed to be finished by Dec. 31, the letter says; the company expects to complete similar pump work at Indian Point 2 during that reactor's refueling outage in the spring.

"The issue is they wanted additional time," said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. "The commission has been very concerned about the lack of progress on this. It's been going for years and the industry has been well-briefed."

Company spokesman Jim Steets said Entergy will work as quickly as possible to complete the work.

The sump pumps work like industrial-sized versions of what many people have in their basements. They would collect water in the event of a major pipe break in the pressurized-water reactors at Indian Point, and cycle it back through the system to keep the reactor from melting down and possibly releasing radiation.

Entergy officials, who asked for extensions for both plants in an Oct. 24 letter to the NRC, were granted three months for Indian Point 2, but not for Indian Point 3. Steets said that Entergy would submit a revised completion schedule and work to complete the project as quickly as possible.

"We will do it between now and the next outage," he said. "We've already done a significant amount of work, and we're evaluating whether we can finish it offline or not. It may take a brief outage."

The reactors are each estimated to make as much as $1 million a day when working at full capacity. Steets said yesterday that a preliminary estimate of shutdown time to complete the work is "several days."

In 2003, the NRC ordered Indian Point and the 68 other reactors to inspect these systems because agency studies found that the steam released at high temperatures could cause the pipe insulation to disintegrate and keep the pumps from recirculating water.

The sump studies clearly stated that installing ancillary safe-guards would not be adequate to prevent the clogging. "Years ago, the NRC identified this (problem) and told the utilities to address it," Sheehan said. "Progress has been slow, but now we are nearing the end of the modifications for the plants. Indian Point is one of the last left to address it."

A recent Entergy report to the NRC states that the company completed extensive modifications to the containment sumps at both units during recent outages. The work included installing 3,000 square feet of strainers, trash racks, new pumps and other flow barriers to prevent clogging the intake of the emergency recirculation pumps.

Completing the work can be done while a reactor is online, according to Entergy's report, but not as easily as when the plant is shut down, since it involves entry into the reactor's containment area. The federal agency doesn't have a problem with the corrections proposed, but when they'll be accomplished.

"After reviewing Entergy's submittal, the NRC staff concludes that Entergy has a plan to complete the remaining corrective actions and has compensatory measures in place," the Nov. 20 letter stated. "However, NRC finds that Entergy has not made a convincing case why the proposed modifications and other changes cannot be accomplished before the next refueling outage."

NRC officials said Entergy can submit another extension request for NRC consideration, "proposing a shorter extension consistent with the time needed to prepare for and implement remaining corrective actions."

Berlin Technologies

CU buys pumps to avoid dry patches brings you the following news from Springfield, Missouri:

With its lakes dwindling again, City Utilities has bought the rented pumps that kept the city's reservoirs from dropping dangerously low during last year's record-breaking drought.

Gary Gibson, CU's manager of distribution, said the utility has spent $880,000 to buy and reinstall the floating pump system at Stockton Lake.
The three floating pumps and two larger shore-mounted pumps can deliver up to 14 million gallons a day to CU's Fellows Lake north of Springfield. Components of the floating system will arrive at Stockton Lake on Monday.

"This gives us some time to look at what our permanent pump system should be," Gibson said.
If bad weather doesn't delay the installation, the pumps could begin refilling Fellows Lake by the end of December.

CU normally turns on its Stockton pumps when its two storage lakes — Fellows and McDaniel — drop to 75 percent of capacity.

Last week the lake storage levels were at 77 percent and dropping about 1 percent every five days due to lack of rainfall and steady demand by CU water customers. CU was forced to rent a temporary system last year when all three of the utility's massive 6-ton submerged pumps failed at the Stockton pumping facility.

The pumps, manufactured by Vermont-based Hayward-Tyler Inc., were repeatedly repaired, but failed again in recent months and were sent back for another round of repairs. Gibson said Hayward-Tyler has fixed one of the $500,000 pumps, and CU plans to install it. "But we've decided to hold off on repairing the other two for now," he said. "Their general manager will be here in December to meet with us about the pumps and also about what their commitment level is to keeping these pumps running."

Vince Conte, Hayward-Tyler general manager, declined to talk about the December meeting or about the performance of his company's pumps. He referred all questions about the pumps to CU. Gibson said CU might consider reinstalling the Hayward-Tyler pumps if the company would guarantee the repairs and if there were reason to believe the pumps would perform reliably.
"But based on last year's issues, we have a lot of questions about that," Gibson said.

It costs CU $25,000 just to pull one of the pumps from its underwater tube, and repairs have been averaging about $150,000 each, Gibson said.

Hayward Tyler has made some of the repairs under warranty, but not all of them. If CU and Hayward-Tyler decide to part ways over the latest pump failures, Gibson said, the utility might seek some amount of financial compensation. He declined to say how much. "If it gets to that point, that's something the lawyers will have to negotiate," he said.

The latest pump failures forced CU to contemplate building a more reliable system. CU hired Texas engineering company Freese and Nichols for $118,000 to evaluate the cost and feasibility of three options. One would use parts from the rented system that has now been purchased. It would put smaller pumps into the submerged pipes at Stockton and push water up to large shore-mounted pumps.

Another idea involves drilling a vertical well on shore and then angling the hole to the lake.
"It's much easier to pump water vertically like that, and since the pump is on land it would be easier to service and maintain," Gibson said.

A third concept would involve building a concrete intake structure in the lake, with a pump inside that would deliver water to shore. "Of course with in-water construction, your costs go up," he said. "That's what Freese and Nichols will be looking at." The company has until mid-February to deliver its report.

Without any cost estimates or a final decision on the Hayward-Tyler pumps, Gibson said it's too soon to say whether the pump issues might increase CU water customers' bills. The utility just raised water rates in October, and another is planned for October next year to help pay for water system improvements.

Whether those higher rates are enough to absorb a new Stockton Lake pumping system remains unknown. Gibson said the pump problems have served as an eye-opener.
"Water is a resource we can't take for granted, as we found out last year with the drought," he said. "I'd encourage everyone to do what you can to conserve water when you can."

Berlin Technologies

Friday, November 23, 2007

Water firm to spend £16m on pumps

The BBC News is reporting today on Yorkshire Water, a water company from Yorkshire that was criticised over the summer floods in Hull, has announced it is to spend £16m on improving the city's pumping stations.

The article can be found on the BBC website.

Berlin Technologies


The following is offered for sale on

2 units of oilwell 1400hp mud pumps c/w GE DC engine,accessories and parts.

General terms & conditions:

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3)Payment mode must be COD-WIRE TRANSFER or Irrevocable,Transferable,Auto-Revolving Documentary-LC in favor of seller,upon buyer confirm order.

Further details and photos can be found on the ad.

Berlin Technologies

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Flowserve Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend of 15 Cents Per Share

Flowserve Corp., one of the world’s leading providers of fluid motion and control products and services, announced last Thursday (Nov 15) that its Board of Directors has authorized the payment of a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share on the company's outstanding shares of common stock.

The dividend is payable on January 9, 2008, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 26, 2007.

Operating in more than 55 countries, Flowserve produces engineered and industrial pumps, seals and valves as well as a range of related flow management services. More information about Flowserve can be obtained by visiting the company’s website at

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Village to buy sump pumps for residents

Catherine Ann Velasco of The Herald News reports the following story:

Village to buy sump pumps for residents

To help residents with flooding problems, the village board agreed to buy as many as 12 outside sump pumps costing up to $144,000 and a $70,331 storm sewer for one homeowner.

The board agreed Nov. 5 to purchase a new 48-inch storm sewer for the home at 12933 Tipperary Lane in the King's Crossing subdivision. Resident Kevin Kroll, who moved into his home in late 2004, said he noticed his sump pump was operating more frequently than expected.

The storm sewer, which is 6 feet from the home, complied with the village's old building codes. The developer has tested and tried to seal the storm sewer, but there is still some water loss, which can occur from a large diameter storm sewer pipe.

Because the developer and staff have been unable to reach an agreement, Allen Persons, director of public works, suggested that the village install a new storm sewer about 20 feet from Kroll's foundation. The old storm sewer will be filled with concrete once the new storm sewer is operational.

Sump pumps a remedy

Purchasing outside sump pumps for residents in Arbor subdivision was offered as a remedy to long-term water problems. The ground water table is high in that area, and the home foundations are low.

Some residents in the neighborhood, which is east of Illinois 59 and south of Feeney Drive, say they have had water issues.

Three residents have asked to have outside sump pumps installed, Persons said. There are about 12 homes that were constructed at the lower elevation and may be eligible for the sump pumps. The village would evaluate requests based on need.

The water pumped by the outside sump pumps will discharge into the storm sewers.
"The outside sump pumps really take over the work that the inside sump pumps are currently doing," Persons said. "The intent is to take the water or remove it before it even reaches the inside sump pump. It will reduce the noise that homeowners hear as their sump pumps kick on and off."

The intent is that the homeowner will maintain the pump after it is installed, which is similar to a program the city of Joliet offers.

"Joliet's program actually totals $2 million. They offer approximately 150 of these outside sump pumps for their residents every year," Persons said.

Workshop meeting

Since July, village staff have met with homeowners, conducted tests, inspected storm sewers and repaired field tiles. The village also hired hydrogeologist John Jansen to review the situation and suggest solutions.

Jansen said installing a line of dewatering wells along Arbor Drive or installing external sump pumps at the 12 homes with the worst problems could help.

At a workshop meeting in October, resident Jeffrey Valenti told officials he found documents showing lower foundation elevations for the homes were approved by an engineering firm despite the potential for water problems.

Last week, the board agreed to Persons' request to hold a workshop meeting to look at the process of how the decisions were made in building Arbor subdivision in order to prevent this error from occurring again.

Reporter Catherine Ann Velasco can be reached at (815) 729-6051 or


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