In The Round Dewatering Drum Designed To Speed Drying Process

In The Round Dewatering Drum Designed To Speed Drying Process
James Penner, left, the owner of In The Round Dewatering, explains the mechanism behind his horizontal biosolids dewatering system to attendees at the 2015 WWETT Show. The system rotates at a pace of one revolution every two hours, dewatering 18,000 to 25,000 gallons of wastewater at a time. (Photo by Craig Mandli)

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James Penner is asking wastewater professionals to “think outside the box” when it comes to dewatering. Penner’s invention, the horizontal biosolids dewatering system from In The Round Dewatering, was on display at the 2015 Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show in February. He believes it is the next evolution to typical roll-off dewatering boxes.

“This unit will speed up the dewatering process and give you a more uniform, consistent result,” says Penner. “We think it is a great fit across several industries, including septage and municipal dewatering. We are even testing it right now on frac and tailings waste from mining areas.”

The unit’s stainless steel drum lined with perforated plastic tiles is mounted on a roll-off frame for easy transport and unloading. Water trays allow containment of discharge water. An 18,000- to 25,000-gallon batch is mixed with polymer before being filtered in the rotating drum, driven by a 1/2 hp variable-speed electric motor with a heavy-duty chain and sprocket. The turning eliminates crusting and wet pockets to produce uniform, consistent results. The dewatered material dumps easily and the drum is self-cleaning.

“As the water drains, the unit rotates one complete turn every two hours,” says Penner. “Typically you let the unit run overnight and by morning you have a dry material ready for disposal or transport. Then you fill it back up and do it all over again. It’s very energy-efficient, so you just fill it up and let it go.”

The drum is 90 inches wide and 20 feet long, and is constructed of stainless steel with a powder-coated frame and plastic filter tiles. Tie-down straps are included for easy transport. The unit can typically be filled in 90 minutes to two-and-a-half hours. Following treatment, sewage sludge typically ranges from 18 to 24 percent of pre-dewatering volume. Septic sludge ranges from 28 to 40 percent, while grease trap waste typically runs between that of sewage and septic sludge.

Penner says he’s still in the “beta testing phase” of frac wastewater and tailings waste, but is encouraged by the results so far. Dryness is greatly impacted by conditions and polymer used, but no liquid remains when finished. Dried solids to be unloaded are typically 4 to 7 tons per load. Penner says that efficiency is getting the attention of companies and municipalities across the country.

“We are talking with a lot of private contractors, but with the regulations for land application always changing, a lot of cities are looking at ways to create more uniform biosolids,” says Penner. “We talked with a lot of municipal operators at WWETT that were interested in setting up a demonstration. This is great for them because it eliminates having to use drying beds, saving time and space.”

Penner looks forward to attending the WWETT Show every year, as he believes it attracts the “perfect” audience for the dewatering system.

“It not only fits the septic guy, but also the municipal operators and gas and oil crowd,” he said during the trade show. “Those are the people we want to get this product in front of. I get more follow-up contacts from this show than any place else I go. These people are very knowledgeable of the industry, and they know what works and what doesn’t. That’s why I’m always excited to get here.” 317/539-7304;


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