In a recent customer interview conducted by an independent third party, Steve Vetrero, the operations supervisor at Parsippany, NJ’s 9 million-gallon-per-day (MGD) wastewater treatment plant discusses his plant’s operations and how EDC saves the municipality money and is a critical partner in keeping the facility running at peak performance.
The Parsippany Sanitary Sewer Utility operates and maintains a 16 MGD advanced wastewater treatment plant, which currently has an average daily flow of 9 MGD. The Sewer Utility also operates and maintains approximately 370 miles of sewers and 28 pump stations which make up the Collection System.
In 2012, an OEM completed an upgrade to the plant’s control system, removing the standard drives and adding 14 variable frequency drives (VFDs) and new motors. The drives are critically important, running the facility’s pumps. Prior to the upgrade, the facility was spending $1.5M annually on electric costs with the standard drives, which operate at a constant speed, continually consuming a large amount of electricity. The decision to upgrade to VFDs, which vary their speed based on the changing requirements of the system, offered tremendous cost savings on utilities. After the upgrade, the annual cost of electricity dropped to just $400,000, a savings of more than 70%.
“With this upgrade, we realized a tremendous savings for the taxpayers of our community,” said Vetrero. “VFDs save in combination with the specialized motors. The fact that our electric bill went down so much, proved it works.”
The Need for Preventive Maintenance
Vetrero, who has managed millions of dollars of equipment for the community for over 30 years, explained that the energy savings came with the tradeoff of moving from standard drives, which do not require much maintenance to VFDs, which are sensitive and need regular preventive maintenance (PM) by a qualified technician. VFDs require proper cleaning, testing, and maintenance so it is important to use a partner for these services who specializes in maintenance of your specific VFD technology.
“While we were saving a lot on our electricity cost, the PM service on the new VFD drives was proving to be rather expensive and our accounts payable department was complaining about the rates we were paying,” said Vetrero. Having experience with EDC in the past, they made the decision to switch their PM services to EDC. “I like EDC for the dependability and price; about four years ago when we switched to EDC for PM services, we saved the taxpayers even more money.”
“EDC plays an important role at our facility. We rely on them for both emergency drive repairs and our annual VFD PM,” said Vetrero. “EDC is very thorough with their drive PM, and an employee with expert training does the delicate drive cleaning work and specialized diagnostic tests.”
“EDC did an infrared study at our annual PM and you could see the three phases in the drive and three components allowing the electricity to flow through. You couldn’t see this with the naked eye, but one of them was glowing, and we knew we had to fix it because it was going to fail soon. With the infrared technology EDC utilized, they helped us prevent a critical downtime emergency situation which could interrupt services to our residents.”
EDC’s 24-hour emergency repair service is an insurance policy customers can rely on. “Like everything, the drives do break down from time to time,” said Vetrero. “I just call up Jessica and someone comes right over to help us out.”
EDC services more than 40 brands of drives and has highly trained employees to meet clients’ needs. “VFDs are complicated, and EDC has a lot of smart people there with many different backgrounds so they can support all our drives with the ability to fix every problem we have run into,” said Vetrero. “Other vendors we tried were fair, but they didn’t specialize; they could not fix all the different equipment and issues we have at our plant. EDC can tackle them all.”
For the Parsippany Sanitary Sewer Utility, substantial cost savings were realized by upgrading older drives to VFDs and new motors. With the upgrades came an additional responsibility to use a highly-skilled partner to maintain this sensitive equipment and avoid excess downtime. In addition to the savings on utilities, the sewer plant also realized added savings by switching to EDC for preventive maintenance (PM) services.
“EDC has always played an important role at our facility, and we currently rely on them for emergency drive repairs and VFD annual preventive maintenance (PM). EDC is very thorough with their drive PM, and an employee with expert training does the delicate drive cleaning work and specialized diagnostic tests. I like EDC for dependability and price; when we switched to EDC for PM services, we realized a substantial cost savings. VFDs are complicated and EDC has a lot of smart people there with many different backgrounds so they can support all our drives with the ability to fix every problem we have run into.”
– Operations Supervisor Steve Vetrero, Sanitary Sewer Utility, Parsippany, New Jersey
To learn more about EDC PM services and/or infrared study services, contact our service team today.