Whatever Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong — Especially with Wastewater Treatment
Somewhere in your wastewater treatment plant, a pump seal is going bad. How will your maintenance staff detect and fix it? What will you pay for a technician to restore the pump to normal operating condition? And if you don’t notice that seal until it fails, what will the cost and impact be?
As Murphy said, “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” Every day, your plant faces new maintenance issues, some obvious, others still unseen. Your first line of defense is a proactive maintenance strategy, but you’ll eventually face an unexpected failure. Then your staff’s education and training, and a solid contingency plan can keep an incident from escalating into a full-blown crisis.
Given the tight budgets at most wastewater treatment plants, the general mode of operation is run to failure. The term for that maintenance strategy? Reactive maintenance. You know you’re living on borrowed time, but your run-to-failure strategy costs less when it matters—now—because you don’t have to invest as much in plant maintenance and infrastructure. Down the line, you’ll spend far more money. In fact, the Marshall Institute reports that you’ll pay 2-5 times as much as you would have if you’d implemented preventive or predictive maintenance.
Education & Training
Most plants perform preventive maintenance based on historical failure data. But better still is predictive maintenance, which tells you when to expect future failure. The key is education and training so that your operators and maintenance personnel know when a pump is about to clog up or a bearing is going bad. But also critical is knowing instantly how to quickly resolve an issue and minimize damage. That correct response must be part of a site-specific contingency plan.
Your team must always be prepared to deal with an incident, no matter what it is. That requires you to identify risks, know how to deal with them and train your staff the right way to respond. It’s also important not to go it alone. You need trusted partners with the right experience and equipment to help you when things go sideways.
Learn five ways to keep your wastewater treatment plant up and running as much as possible.
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We hope this article will help you avoid downtime and recover quickly when you do face a critical issue. If you have questions, please contact a Sunbelt Rentals representative. We’re here to help.