Water collects in quarries from both rainwater and groundwater seepage. Dewatering pumps are required to remove or reduce this water from the active parts of the quarry to allow mineral extraction to continue.
The quarry is a challenging environment for pumps to work in. Often large volumes need moving over a long period of time. The water will often contain mud or abrasive aggregate particles. Electric power is not always available. And of course, the quarry operator has to satisfy the planning and environmental agencies in relation to site discharge and noise, and also keep the neighbours on side.
It is important for the quarry operator to take care in correctly specifying the pumps as this will have a big impact on site operation and operating costs. Below we outline some of the factors you should consider:
Diesel or Electric?
Running costs make up a large proportion of the lifetime cost of your pump. Energy costs are particularly significant. Electrical pumps can carry huge savings if heavily used in the same location and on-grid power is available. However, diesel power is usually best for mobile pumping solutions and where electrical power has to be generated on site.
Dirty-water Pump or Slurry Pump?
Slurry pumps are designed with open clearances and replaceable liners. This allows solids to pass through the pump, and for wear-parts to be replaced as necessary. By design they are of lower efficiency than water pumps. This means, if you are only pumping water, slurry pumps will be significantly more expensive to run over time. However, if you are pumping solids-laden liquids a slurry pump can be a good investment as it could last much longer than a water pump.
As the pump will be required to run for long periods, and is often located in remote locations, a reliable, easy to maintain pump will save you time and release labour for other tasks. Correct specification is important in reducing downtime.