The aeration process at the Stellenbosch municipal water treatment plant in the Western Cape has been dramatically improved after ten world-class modular compact (MC) industrial gear (IG) units were installed by water project specialist, Inenzo Water.

The MC units, which were supplied by Sew- Eurodrive, can handle from 6 to 65 kNm of torque and can be universally mounted.

The Aeration process

One of the initial and most critical stages of water treatment is to aerate large volumes of water in treatment plants.

Aeration is the process whereby water is enriched with oxygen through a continuous rotation and churning process. This enables the release of harmful gases from the water and kills certain bacteria in the water. It also hastens the breakdown of organic matter in the water.

Aeration is usually achieved by rotating a large propeller through the water volume, thereby mixing air into the water. This propeller is exposed to huge radial and axial forces, and if the drive gear is incorrectly installed, it can lead to failure and damage to the propeller and the gearbox driving it.

Assembled locally

Sew- Eurodrive Cape Town branch manager Byron Griffiths notes that the company’s extended bearing distance (EBD) configuration and drywell bearing housing is ideally-suited for the aeration process.

“It allows for much higher radial and axial forces to be absorbed by the gearbox, while the drywell bearing housing ensures no oil can leak into the sensitive water treatment process.”

One of the key advantages in selecting the MC series of IG units is that they are assembled by Sew- Eurodrive in Nelspruit. Griffiths points out that local assembly cuts down on international shipping costs, which results in savings for the client.

“The units can also be produced faster, which reduces project lead times. Availability of spares and turnaround time on repairs is also minimised to further ensure high levels of availability. Due to us having the expertise to assemble these units in South Africa, some degree of customising and order flexibility can also be offered to the client too,” he concludes.