In the summer of 2016, IFM was approached by an existing client to maintain sewage flow at a facility near Valparaiso, IN. This client has regular, high flow with a large amount of debris in it. This debris was plugging the screening bar rack and reducing the flow through the channel basin to the municipal sanitary sewer. In August 2016, IFM was contracted to clean the bar rack and channel basin three times a week and perform a more intense cleaning once a month.


At the end of the year, after multiple months of completing this service, IFM and their client determined that the labor required to complete these cleanings was not cost effective to maintain flow. As a result, IFM proposed the installation of a channel grinder to grind up debris in the channel basin replacing the high maintenance bar rack and to eliminate possible backups.


The grinder station that IFM chose was a 5 horsepower, 460-volt unit with a 12” cutter stack using 17-tooth serrated cam cutters. The station had a custom-built frame to fit it into the existing channel with no alterations needed to the basin flow line. IFM also installed a control panel to operate the grinder station. The panel has a Panasonic programmable logic controller (PLC) with an audible and visual alarm and housed in a NEMA 4x fiberglass enclosure.

IFM worked with a vacuum truck contractor to clean out the channel basin and maintain flow while the installation of the grinder was completed. Power was trenched over to the new panel from an abandoned pump station on the property. Start up of the channel grinder station was completed on March 22, 2017. An operations and maintenance was provided with the grinder and monthly preventative maintenance manual visits are completed by IFM to ensure that the grinder is fully operational.