Case Studies


vaughan chopper pumps

Pumps of all shapes and sizes can be looked upon as the beating hearts of the UK wastewater treatment process, especially when recurring storm events lead to increased volumes of rag and debris entering the system. This is when specific solids handling capabilities become ever more critical. So get the right pump in the right place at the right time and the expense and inconvenience of pump failures can be minimised. An ongoing example of reliable pumping performance with VAUGHAN is at a Thames Water Banbury.

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rotamix system

Mixing is one of the most critical stages in maximising the efficiency of today’s Anaerobic Digestion (AD) processes and the ROTAMIX system has become established as the preferred choice of AD mixing systems at numerous waste water sites across the UK. A recent example of this is the receipt of an order from Murphy Process Engineering to supply 4 x Vaughan model HE8K-305 55Kw horizontal end-suction chopper pumps for the expansion project at Yorkshire Waters’ Huddersfield ERF plant for digester heat exchanger re-circulation. This follows successful ERF projects at Blackburn Meadows, Sheffield in 2012 and Knostrop, Leeds in 2017, where Vaughan Chopper pumps were selected for similar duties.

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Heavily laden unscreened sewage containing rag was blocking existing pumps at a Severn Trent Water pumping station, near the SinFin Golf Course in Derby. Vaughan Chopper Pumps were trialled with complete success.

4 months later and following 700 hours of operation, no blockages have occurred, even after storm flows and high volumes of ragging. 

Watch Severn Trent Waters own producedvideo, click the"play" button on the video to the left.

Through their experiences at numerous UK water sites, P&M Pumps have demonstrated that their products and expertise can bring significant cost-savings. In most cases retrofitting Vaughan Chopper pumps in the correct areas to deal effectively with the process, can be self-financing, with payback periods of less than one year, thereafter minimising the effect to budget holders.

Here we highlight just a few examples.

Chopper Pumps help Southern Water to cut costs

Achieving significant improvement in the throughput of sludge combined with minimising reactive maintenance and the frequent need to purchase spares, were the important benefits achieved at a key Southern Water site, thanks to the installation of Vaughan Chopper Pumps and mixing systems, supplied by P&M Pumps. The site, a key element in Southern Water’s sludge strategy, serves a sludge catchment of approx 600,000 people and uses Mesophilic digestion and a thermal drying plant which needs to operate on a 24/7 basis.

Equipment includes 3 digester recirculation pumps, 2 post digestion storage tank Rotamix mixing systems, 2 belt thickener discharge pumps and 1 tanker discharge submersible pump. Commenting on the performance of the Vaughan Chopper pumps, Mark Catlin, Southern Water Senior Process Engineer says, ‘Installing the Vaughan equipment has made a significant improvement to asset availability and a large reduction in this sites operational costs’.

Chopper Pumps go through the Motions at Anglian Water

Another successful installation of Vaughan ‘Chopper’ pumps, supplied by P&M Pumps, has resulted in a significant reduction in the problems which were caused by pump blockages that were occurring at an Anglian Water Services Pumping Station, in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

The Hartford Road Pump Station in Huntingdon is one of a number of facilities within the Anglian Water Region where raw domestic and industrial effluent is collected and processed, with raw sewage being transferred within a dry-well pumping application.

Problems arose, when during high flow conditions, the original pumps became blocked with fibrous rag material and other flotsam contained in the sewage streams. These problems were particularly severe when storm conditions occurred which led to sewage streams backing-up, causing spillage and flooding. Blockages were an on-going problem, with around 2 to 4 pump failures a week during extreme conditions, resulting in high maintenance and labour costs.

The Hartford Road pumping station has been operating for 2 years without the need for any unscheduled visits due to pump failures. In addition the hydraulic performance of the Vaughan pumps exactly meets the target flows set by Anglian Water, with no drop in performance. Commenting on the pump’s performance, Mick Tomblin, Site Engineer at Hartford Road said, “We have overcome all of the operational problems we were experiencing, pump failures due to ragging etc. have been eliminated and we appreciate the pump’s ability to handle rag matter easily and efficiently”. He added, “P&M Pumps offered a guarantee from the outset that these pumps would not block and they have proven reliable within a very difficult application”.


The ability for pumps to operate efficiently, even when storm surges and unusually high flows occur, is an essential requirement in many water, waste and effluent treatment applications. Critical periods are when high flows and storm surges result in an increase in rag or other heavy debris which can cause pump failure resulting in expensive downtime. This situation was one of the factors leading to the reengineering and upgrading of an Anglian Water pumping station facility, which included the installation of Vaughan ‘Chopper’ pumps, supplied and installed by Huntingdon based P&M Pumps.

The Anglian Water One Alliance facility at Garrison Road, Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, collects raw domestic and industrial effluent prior to treatment, as part of its screening and transfer process from pumping station to works. A Vaughan auto self-priming SP10R Chopper pump was supplied and installed by P&M Pumps for transferring rag matter from a collection sump adjacent to a storm screen into a gravity main leading to the local sewage treatment works. Prior to the upgrade, Anglian Water had relied upon maceration and this lacked the required performance, for example, falling short of the flow targets required for the transfer process.

Commenting on the installation and subsequent pumping performance, Graham Rose, the Site Engineer at Garrison Road confirmed, ‘The operational problems we were experiencing with maceration within the transfer process have been eliminated, thanks to the Vaughan Chopper pump’.

He continued, ‘The pumps ability to handle rag matter easily and efficiently was crucial to our selection and an added bonus is that the pump does not macerate solids and rags, it only chops what it need to chop to stop the pump from clogging’.

Graham concluded, ‘The pumps performance has provided the benefit down stream as inlet screens can now remove far more material than the previous system allowed’.