In the Round Dewatering System

In the Round Dewatering System

The new dewatering system from In the Round Dewatering can help septic service contractors improve profitability by reducing sludge disposal costs.

The system uses plastic filter tiles inside a rotating, stainless steel dewatering drum to remove up to 50 percent of wastewater from sludge. The transportable drum – which measures 20 feet long and 90 inches in diameter and weighs 11,500 pounds empty – is mounted on a steel, powder-coated, roll-off frame equipped with integrated tie-down straps, says James Penner, owner and president of In the Round Dewatering.

“It’s not unusual for the unit to remove 2,500 gallons of liquid overnight,” Penner explains, noting it can be filled multiple times before rotating. “It can process 15,000 to 25,000 gallons of sludge per day.”

A standard roll-off truck can haul the unit. Pumping contractors who do not own a roll-off truck can hire a hauling company to take the sludge to a landfill, Penner says.

The drum’s interior is almost completely lined with interlocking, replaceable plastic filter tiles. A 1/4 hp motor and a gearbox with a 4,700:1 gear ratio rotates the drum once every 2 1/2 hours on 10 heavy-duty, greaseable ball-bearing rollers. A polymer that helps remove water is mixed with the sludge as it’s fed from a holding tank into the drum through a 3-inch hose.

“If you put in 150 gallons of sludge per minute, 100 gallons of clear water per minute comes out the bottom,” Penner explains. “So you accumulate 50 gallons of sludge per minute. About two hours is a normal fill time.

“As the drum rotates, solids accumulate in the drum and the clear water runs off into a sewer drain,” he says. “We typically get four to seven tons of dry solids after running it overnight. It’s so dry you can stand on the pile without sinking into it.

“And the nice thing is, you get the same results every time – no surprises,” adds Penner, who is a pumping contractor. “I turn mine on when I leave the place at night and when I come back the next morning, everything is ready to go.”

After dewatering is complete, the operator can clean the tank with a light rinse from a garden hose and a nozzle; self-cleaning tiles eliminate the need for a pressure washer, he notes.

The system is designed with minimal moving parts. It should improve pumpers’ profitability through minimal operating costs, reduced payments to waste-treatment facilities, and less wear-and-tear on trucks – the result of less driving to treatment facilities with heavy loads of sludge, he says.

“I pay 11.3 cents per gallon to have sludge treated at a local municipal treatment facility,” he explains. “When I run it through this process, the polymer and landfill costs combined are 2.5 cents per gallon. That’s where you make your money.”

Users without sewer-line access can haul the clear water to a waste-treatment facility, he says. 317/539-7304;


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