Basic Maintenance of Belt Filter Presses - PROBE

This PROBE was created to provide informative material on the basic operation and maintenance of belt filter presses (BFPs) at municipal wastewater treatment plants. This blend of operations and maintenance will help establish the best system for optimizing the treatment processes upstream and downstream of the dewatering process, and ensuring that process is reliable and cost effective.

The PROBE first introduces the reader to the BFP, listing and describing all of the principal mechanical components, and then proceeds to discuss the principles of operation, covering the five basic stages of processing. The process operational parameters are provided, and the loading parameters typically associated with these installations are defined. An operations staff can use this information to develop specific criteria for its facility by following some basic and described calculations and definitions. Basic design parameters such as solids loading, polymer usage, and efficiency calculations are provided.

All significant support equipment is listed, with a description of each piece of equipment's primary design, operational, and mechanical criteria. This information provides the basics for each of the mandatory support unit processes by defining the function of each, the purpose of all the components, and the effect on overall unit process performance.

Process control parameters are explored, and the types of laboratory and field processes testing required to properly evaluate performances are defined. After the basic testing is defined, typical process targets, percent capture, polymer usage, and solids loading are reviewed; solids inventory is defined; calculations are shown; and examples are provided in a typical database format.

The PROBE also introduces a preventive maintenance schedule. This section describes the key aspects of maintaining the unit process so that operational or process objectives can reliably be achieved, and it provides both the operational and the maintenance staffs an overview of each other's perspectives. The main point is that, to achieve a cost-effective dewatering process, the equipment must be operated properly and must be in good mechanical/electrical condition.

Finally, a troubleshooting guide in the Appendix provides a list of poor-performance characteristics. The list notes observations, probable causes, checkpoints, and corrections.

On completion of this module, the reader will be able to