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Retention Pond Pumps

07/25/2007 5:16 PM

I am on the Long Range Planning committee at my church. We have hired an Engineering firm to design a retention pond which will be required by the city in the future. They are telling us that they have changed the pumps form 17,000 GPM to 4500 GPM and that they will cost $60,000. Can anyone tell me if this sounds correct? And if there is a way to 'comparison shop' for these pumps!?

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#1

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/25/2007 5:35 PM

If it a reputable firm the decision were most probably based on some need. I would ask them for a reason?

A 17000 pump can be throttled or run for shorter periods to get the same results.

Was the 17000 gal pump operational when it was removed?

Did you need extra pressure? = For garden sprinklers?

Was the motor replaced?

To obtain another quote you would require a duty point or you can use the model number.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/25/2007 6:02 PM

It is a reputable firm, and we have not been able to set up another meeting with them yet, since receiving this cost info.

This is a new project (not yet constructed). I am assuming that they changed from one 17000 GPM pump (as required by design) to 3 or 4 - 4500 GPM pumps in order to get the cost of the 'pump(s) required' down to $60,000. However, that still sounds like a lot of $ to us...and I am just trying to find out if these kind of pumps really cost that much!

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/26/2007 1:42 PM

On prices in your country I cannot help. Try your local suppliers for an estimate that can be used for comparison.

Just bear in mind that there would be other equipment and material involved and that the running cost must also be taken into account - That imply a economic evaluation rather than a financial one.

From a distance it however seem fair.

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#3

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/25/2007 9:16 PM

Using several small pumps offers a number of advantages over 1 large pump ie. flexibility of operation to match flows, continuation of operation should 1 pump be out for service or repair (security of operation). I am sure that any reputable firm will design the best system at the best possible price. Get them to explain what they are designing and the reasons. I am sure that their answers will put your mind at rest

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#4

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/25/2007 9:48 PM

Don't you have any engineering people at your church?

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#6

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/26/2007 11:52 PM

Sir:

If you had a pump that was capable of pumping 17000gpm, do you realize that every 2 minutes, you could fill-up a swimming pool? Forty-five hundred gallons per minute sounds quite appropriate, but some questions come to mind;

What is the size of the pond? Are the pumps to fill, or empty said pond? Is the water coming from run-off, or some other municipal feed? Is the water from a well on the church property? I would need more information before I could come-up with some answers for you.

Waterman

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#7

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 1:16 AM

I think this would be unacceptable.

What State are you located in? If this is for a church you should could contract a company like ITT Goulds Pump at 315-568-4703 they are located in NY. You should be able to get help from a Pump manufacturer that is willing to help try to work with the pump requirements.

Deal with the pump manufacture direct.

Do not go through an Engineering Firm.

The Engineering Firm will add 150% to there price.

Steve

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#8

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 8:35 AM

I assume the engineering firm included installation in their quotation. If so you might save some money contracting the installation directly over even better you may have that skill set in your congregation.

Where does this water have to go? Are you required to pump runoff after reaching a certain level in the receiving pond as with a discharge structure on a gravity system?

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#13
In reply to #8

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 9:15 AM

It sounds like the pumps are for fountains to keep the water in the retention pond recirculating and aerated -- which keeps mosquito larva down, helps the fish, and works to prevent smelly anaerobic decomposition. It must be a big church to need 4 large fountains.

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#9

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 8:46 AM

Hi

You haven't given us enough information. But even if you would, it will be rather difficult to asses your project looking at it from here. By quoting pump prices you may have some ideas, but what else is involved? surly the $ asked is not solely for the pumps.

If I were you, I would bring the complete project to another reputable engineering firm, to have a second opinion. It will never cost you $60K, and you will have a peace of mind.

Wangito

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#10

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 8:51 AM

None of my suppliers have any pumps of that size, but 250 gpm pumps run as high as $3700.00 apiece. As far as them changing to the smaller pumps as one person commented earlier if one pump needs serviced it doesn't shut you down. A smaller pump would be less expensive to service than a large one.

Assuming this is for storm water a smaller storm would not require all the pumps to run reducing costs. If all the pumps need to run they could be staggered on as needed possibly reducing your demand charge on your utility bill. If you had one large pump a small load or a large load would cost about the same. Never put all your eggs in one basket.

As another poster had suggested The cost of the pumps may have other items included in the quote: Motor staters, power boxes, PLC's to control pumps.

Talk to your engineers I am sure they will be happy to explain.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 9:09 AM

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT 4- 4500 GPM PUMPS YOUR TALKING ABOUT SOME GOOD SIZED EQUIPMENT AND SOME LARGE PIPE. I WORK WITH THIS ALL THE TIME AND 60K SOUNDS LIKE A BARGAIN. IF YOU COULD POST THE FIRMS NAME I'D LOVE TO SPEAK WITH THEM BECAUSE IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY COULD SAVE MYSELF AND MY CLIENTS SOME MONEY.

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#12

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 9:12 AM

I believe others are very willing to help and extremely knowledgeable. You can do yourself a great service by providing them with as much information about the pond as you can.

  1. Where are you located (city, state, country)
  2. Do you have design information about the pond (width, length, depth, estimate of volume of water contained),
  3. Where the water comes from (spring fed, street/parking lot rainwater runoff, etc.)
  4. Where does the water go (used to water lawn, temporary retention, used as a coolant for HVAC, etc.)
  5. What is the general purpose for the pond (aesthetics, preservation of wetlands, etc.)
  6. What you want the pumps to do with the water (world class fountain, water show, move it to another location)
  7. What is the city/county requirement going to be in the future (any idea as to why they might want to require ponds)

The more details you give the people on this site, the more they can help you! You might want to gather this information up and resubmit your request for assistance at a later date.

I am a mechanical engineer but have little experience with your problem. I really like this website and see it as a fantastic way to get help! The people who spend time here answering questions should be commended!

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#14

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 9:29 AM

Working for a Pump manufacturer I can say that (1) one pump capable of 4500 GPM should not cost 60K alone. 4 pumps @ 4500 GPM, yes that is an acceptable price. Unless you are trying to recirculate the retention pond once a day or quicker you shouldn't need a 17000 GPM pump (which would likely cost over 60K). If the pump's sole purpose is to pump water (limited solid content) and is not working against a significant amount of head then a single 4500 GPM pump is probably all you need. If the 60K includes installation and piping and such that is a whole different story. The most cost effective style pump for this application would likely be a vertical turbine pump (often called a irrigation pump) they are very versatile and relatively inexpensive for what you get (often the electric motor will be included in the price)

Best of luck

JW

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#15

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 9:41 AM

17000 GPM is a big pump, the hp required for that pump even at low discharge pressures would be very high, and the subsequent voltage requirement would probably be 4160 VAC, I would think. You may want to see what kind of power you have available at your church, it may be easier to run pumps at 480 VAC, hence the smaller pumps. As other posters have stated, you are probably a lot more efficient with multiple pumps than one monster pump. You can ask them for a cost break-down and also for the rationale behind the change. It may be that they only need to design for the 100 year storm or something and they don't need a pump capable of handling the 500 year storm. The more you and the church are involved in the job, the harder it will be for the firm to rip you off. Asking to see the pump cost break downs and other items will go a long ways to keeping them honest.

In addition, you will have foundations, suction and discharge piping, possibly enclosures for the pumps, etc. and since this is a project for the city and really for the public, you should get PE stamped drawings for the entire thing. This firm will be liable for the design if it doesn't work so it is possible that they are bullet-proofing it a little bit. Anything that the church does internally would be subject to the same liability so keep that in mind if you try to do some of the work yourself.

Competitive bidding is probably preferred but you need to be able to put together an informed bid package with clear deliverables or all of your bidders will take advantage of you. If you don't have an apples to apples bid comparison, it is easy to not get what you thought you were getting. Contractors make most of their money on change orders that you don't have specified in the original quote but you find out later you need. With a single contractor you may pay more, but it is easier to work with them and make sure that you get what you want.

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#16

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 10:30 AM

Wow! 17000 gpm sounds like a lot. This would empty a 1,000,000 pond in less than 1 hour. I can only assume the city is doing this to prevent overloading of their stormwater system. If you and all your neighbors turn the pumps on at the same time it will cause more problems than the tsunami. Get written orders from the city. In the mean time get the info requested in the other posts, let your money draw interest, or better yet, expand your outreach program. I am no civil engineer, but have done work in the water and waste water field in Ohio. On the other hand, if it is for waste water, different story. Pumps still too big, but different story. If for aeration, use bubbler system. Get a copy of water and waste digest, pretty much all scenarios covered. Would like to contact you by e mail if that's ok? Have a great one and remember Phillipians 4:13

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#17

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 11:29 AM

Okay, you are getting advice up the wazoo. So I do not know if you will read this. First of all, Engineering Firms do not sell pumps. They are giving you a budget price for your planning. Ultimately, when you bid the project, then you or your contractor will be looking for the best price. You need approved plans to bid a project. Right now you are just preparing budgets and game plans. Considering the cost involved, and the fact that you have engineering questions but apparently do not trust your engineer, I would consider hiring a firm to do a peer review of the plans.

But before you do any of that....site down with your engineer and ask him every question you can think of. Make him think and make him earn his pay. But do not expect you to impart a lifetime of accumulated knowledge in one giant brain dump on you.

I assume the pond is required for water quality mitigation. Why will it not work by gravity? If you just need the pump to occassionally lower the pond then renting pumps would be the way to go. If the ponds will not drain by gravity and that is why you have the pump, they may have selected a large pump to equal the inflow to the pond during a very traumatic rainfall event. They may have reduced the size after performing a pond routing. Ask these questions to find out.

My advice is to work with your engineer. I see more communities try to manage these projects and they are not aware of how many mistakes they make or what kind of problems they create for some other engineering firm that has to come pick up the pieces.

Professional Engineers are charged to look out for the safety of the community first and foremost. There second priority is to perform only in areas of their competence. Their fourth responsibility is to be your faithful agent. Most of the respondies here have not assumed that responsibility.

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#18

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/27/2007 11:31 AM

It sounds like you may be describing Storm Drainage detention/retention ponds. If this is the case, it is likely the City has a standard that is applicable for the rate of flow from such ponds to avoid flooding the storm sewers. An example of one standard i have dealt with in California ia no more than 25% of the storage pumped out with in the first 24 hours of a 100 year, 24 hour storm event, and full storage pumped out in 48 hours. Other standards use a 24 hour, 50 year event, but all require the detention ponds pumping capacity drain them within 48 hours. 4500 gpm is only about 10 cfs, however, some small communities I deal with will have 2 or 3 smaller pumps with a total capacity of less than 10 cfs. This appears reasonably typical (depending on the drainage).

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#19

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/28/2007 2:11 PM

A flood retaining pond that requires a pump does not make sense.

Local bye-laws may however require specific actions. Absurd rules usually happens when the town planners did not consider everything when giving permission to build.

They may have allowed a lower owner to build in the flood line and now higher owners must spend money to protect him. (if that is the case the local authority should bear part of the cost)

My guess is that the pond was built in a water course without sufficient outlet capacity provided for and that the additional storm water in the dam is actually causing a structure with a safety risk. The pump must be used to remove some water before the flood and also handle the volume of the flood or keep the water at a safe level.

The possibility of not using a pump must be investigated.

Alternatives

A siphon(s) could be installed. With a small priming pump to start the siphon a lot of water can be removed free of charge.

A self priming siphon weir is another possibility.

But as JimR has stated we need info to be of any assistance.

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#20

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/28/2007 2:35 PM

LRP

Even if we knew what part of the world you are in it would help.

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#21

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/28/2007 7:34 PM

Longrangewhatever,

20! YES 20, good guys took the time to try and help with your question, give you some of their precious experience, and you in return don't even bother to comment or say thank you. You don't deserve the effort.

Wangito.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

07/29/2007 12:29 PM

Could be he/she is away for a few days.

Ask the engineering firm for the pump data sheet and send it to Power Machinery in Houston (they have hundreds of used pumps) and also anyone in your yellow pages with pump in the name. No more information is needed except the pump data sheet. A small engineering firm may not have even done a data sheet (another problem), but ask them to. The problem with sending this direct to other than mom/pop pump representatives (like instead sending it to factories) is that factory application engineers don't have the time to diddle with this small stuff. A local shop, that represents ITT Goulds, Sulzer, Flowserve, plus hundreds of small pump companies I've never heard of will be the answer. Google "Dewatering Pumps" or "Retention Pond Drainage Pumps" and different combos of these words to get a supplier list.

I buy about $20,000,000 in pumps per year and I have some pals to help if you give me a data sheet.

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#23

Re: Retention Pond Pumps

08/03/2007 12:03 PM

Sell the property and move the church somewhere you don't have to have a pond.

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Anonymous Poster (3); betomachine (1); ccoop610 (1); coconutpete (1); CONWAYMECH (1); dadw5boys (1); ddk (1); Hendrik (3); Howetwo (1); JimR (1); longrangeplanning (1); Pebbles (1); Pepper (2); PetroPower (1); SR Bross (1); wangito (2); waterman (1)

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