Mini Monster Rescues The Breakers From Tourists

A Mini Monster grinder was chosen to rescue the overworked chopper pumps that couldn’t handle all the debris flushed by visitors

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Two new solids handling pumps installed at the Breakers Mansion in early 2005 were no match for the debris flushed down the toilets by tourists. After careful consideration, a Mini Monster grinder was chosen to rescue the overworked pumps. 

The Breakers, a National Historic Landmark, is the grandest of the “summer cottages” situated on the picturesque shoreline of Newport, Rhode Island. In 1893 Cornelius Vanderbilt II commissioned architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a villa to replace a home destroyed by fire. The result: a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style palazzo inspired by the 16th century palaces of Genoa and Turin.

After Vanderbilt died in 1899 the Breakers became a vacation house for Mrs. Vanderbilt and her two daughters. Later the mansion was inherited by Gladys, the youngest Vanderbilt daughter, who opened the house in 1948 to raise funds for the Preservationist Society. In 1972 the Society purchased the house and today it is known as a “hot spot” for Rhode Island tourists. 

Several busloads of tourists converge upon The Breakers at a time, many using the bathroom facilities. Tourists flush rags, diapers, pads and a variety of trash down the toilets without a thought as to where it goes. The mansion has approximately 100,000 tourists yearly, with a heavy concentration during the summer months. Flushing is not the end for the debris, but the beginning of the work for the pumps. 

In 2006, the Preservation Society contracted Donovan & Sons Inc., a local plumbing contractor to install new bathrooms on the lower level of the mansion. Ken Marshall, general manager, says the bathrooms were below grade for the sewer tie-ins; therefore they had to construct a duplex sewer ejector station. They constructed a basin approximately 5 feet deep and 4 feet wide located in the catacombs of a sublevel basement. Two solid handling pumps were installed to move the wastewater to the city sewer line.

Unfortunately, the surge of visitors created an abundance of trash and sewage. “The new pumps began clogging with the primary culprit being women’s pads,” Marshall says. “The station was receiving alarms as often as every other week during the peak tourist season as a result of clogged pipes.” 

The tremendous wear and blockages resulted in an unusual amount of repairs. Donovan & Sons found themselves removing and re-installing the chopper pumps each time they were called out.

Marshall contacted Sean LaRiviere at Industrial Pump Sales & Service Inc., Donovan’s pump supplier. LaRiviere suggested a macerator to resolve the stoppages. The Society approved Marshall’s proposal and he worked with Bob Mack, owner of New England Environmental in Bedford, to select the proper equipment for the installation. “The Mini Monster was an easy sell,” Mack says. 

A 3 hp in-line Mini Monster grinder was selected for the tough solids situation at the mansion based on its ability to shred rags, plastics, and trash into small particles, protecting the pumps. There was no modification to existing pipelines required and no need for a clean-out trap since solids are ground up and passed through.

“Since the Mini Monster’s installation in July, the pumps have been clog free,” LaRiviere adds. Effluent from the primary lift station is carried by gravity to the street and then on to the WWTP for processing. Processed water is discharged into Narragansett Bay’s East Passage. 

About JWC Environmental
Founded in 1973, JWC Environmental and its worldwide family of employees are committed to providing customers with leading edge products, services and value. JWC Environmental is a leading manufacturer of equipment for wastewater treatment, solids reduction, solids removal and processing. The Monster family of products is legendary for quality and reliability — including the Muffin Monster and Channel Monster sewage grinders, Auger Monster fine screen, Screenings Washer Monster and Monster Separation System, incorporating a fine screen or band screen with superior screenings conditioning. Its superior technology provides solutions for the most demanding applications including sludge grinders, shredders, screens, washer compactors and septage receiving stations.


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