Chopper pumps are types of centrifugal pumps specially designed to handle fluids with a high concentration of solids.The chopper pumps have a cutting attachment made of hard materials of fixed and rotating elements that ‘soak’ solids before entry to the impeller.
This action allows it to handle difficult materials. Solids are cut so they pass through the pump more easily and flow out with the rest of the pumped fluid.
The chopper pump’s ability to handle solids gives it more flexibility in terms of material that they can pump. This specific characteristic makes them particularly useful in wastewater treatment plants. Wastewater treatment is split into primary treatment and secondary treatment.
Primary treatment is the physical separation of float-able materials and insoluble solids from the wastewater. Secondary treatment, on the other hand, is the biological treatment of water through the use of microorganisms to remove the remaining solids in the fluid. Ideally, both treatments contain solids in the pumped fluid and as such may require chopper pumps
Specific steps in the process include pumping scum, mixing the contents of the aeration basin and the anoxic zone and pumping sludge. For instance, at a treatment facility, chopper pumps will mix oxygen with wastewater to encourage the growth of microorganisms. This is for purposes of breaking down solids.
The chopper pump comes in handy where solids are involved since a typical centrifugal pump impeller is more easily clogged by solids. These often end up inhibiting the pumping process.
They could also cause irreparable damage to the system. In wastewater treatment processed for instance, there are stringy materials found in the wastewater that centrifugal pumps cannot work around. This is because the material can tangle the impeller. Chopper pumps, on the other hand, are well equipped to work under such conditions.