Overhaul of main pumps in Bogotá’s water station to ensure reliability

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The Bogotá Aqueduct (EAAB-ESP.) supplies drinking water to a total population of almost 11 million inhabitants of Bogotá and 11 municipalities bordering Bogotá.

Bogotá – capital of Colombia – is the most populated city in the country. The Bogotá Aqueduct (EAAB-ESP) supplies drinking water to a total population of almost 11 million inhabitants of Bogotá and 11 municipalities bordering Bogotá. The Chingaza System of the EAAB-ESP is the main drinking water supply system.

The San Rafael Pumping Station is a fundamental component of the EAAB-ESP Chingaza System. Originally installed in 1994, four pumps at the San Rafael Pumping Station had been identified for a staged maintenance program to be completed over 12 months.

As the original equipment manufacturer, Sulzer was selected for the contract to overhaul the SM 1000-1050-44 pumps. Each one delivers 14’400 m³/hr (63’400 US g/min) at 14 bar (200 psi) and is powered by a 3’200 kW (4´291 HP) motor.

The preventive maintenance contract was planned in such a way that the performance of the San Rafael Pumping Station would be unaffected. Before any pumps were removed, each one was assessed using vibration and temperature monitoring equipment to establish a performance baseline. Sulzer’s field service team then organized the operation to disconnect, lift and transport each pump to the local service center.

Having verified the pump-motor alignment, No.4 pump was the first to be removed from its location five floors 40 m (130 ft) below ground level. Once relocated to the Bogota Service Center, it was inspected to reveal all the repairs that would be required, including machining and component replacement.

After complete dismantling of the pumps, the casing and impeller were shot-blasted before the inner surfaces were coated with a ceramic epoxy resin to improve durability and efficiency. The impeller was also coated before it was dynamically balanced and reassembled.

One of the refurbished pumps ready to be shipped back to the San Rafael Pumping Station

The exterior of the pump casing was repainted to improve corrosion resistance and prolong service life. Each pump received a complete overhaul, including the replacement of bearings, couplings and stuffing box glands. Once complete, the pump was reinstalled, laser realigned and tested by the field service team.

Each overhaul took approximately four weeks and by working on the pumps individually, the operational performance of the San Rafael Pumping Station was unaffected.

As well as the pump refurbishments, Sulzer also provided a selection of recommended parts to support the pumps in the future. This included a complete pump rotor with an impeller that had been coated with ceramic epoxy resin and the shaft which had an anticorrosion coating to support long-term storage. The parts were delivered with storage instructions to ensure they are still in optimum condition when they are required.

During the installation process, Sulzer provided the operators with recommendations for both temperature and vibration monitoring as well as an understanding of how this information can improve reliability. This included advice on alarm and trip settings.

Ricardo Gamboa Bernal, Chingaza System Electromechanical Maintenance Manager, comments: “The whole project has been delivered with precision and efficiency, without affecting the performance of the pumping station. As a result, the refurbished pumping station will be able to continue its vital role for at least another 20 years.”

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